Sunday, March 20, 2016


Gene Mann writes the Organizer that he sends out weekly to UFT members.  This weekend Gene sent out excerpts from two arbitration decisions from last May where teachers won after filing what are now called APPR complaints against improper observations.

As with the previous evaluation system, teachers can really only fight against procedural mistakes that administrators make.  The two errors cited in the arbitration decisions copied below are common and should be addressed quickly when they occur if a teacher receives a bunch of 1 or 2 ratings on a Danielson observation.

Remember, teachers have to file APPR complaint within five school days of discovering a violation of the 2014 Memorandum of Agreement or the 2013 John King arbitration.

These excepts from the arbitration rulings are taken directly from Gene Mann's weekly newsletter.

Castillo (extracts)
Did the DOE violate Article 20, specifically paragraph of the 2014 Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA"and Commissioner John King's Order and Attachments ("Order and Attachments")by failing to provide feedback to the Grievant Rafael Castillo prior to issuing the observation report dated October 82014? If sowhat shall be the remedy?
 The relevant portion of paragraph siof the MOA reads as follows: 
Observation Cycle 
IFeedback following aobservation must be provided to the teachewithin fifteen (15) school days of the observationFeedback must be evidence-baseand aligneto thDanielsoRubric. 
 2. Evaluator forms shall be provided to the teacher no later than forty-five (45) school days following the observation. From the time an observation (formal or informal as defined by the Commissioner's Decision) is conducted until the time the teacher receives the evaluator form for that observationonly one (1) additional evaluativobservation (formaor informal) may be conducted. 
The decision:
Based on the express language in the 2013 Order and Attachments requiring that the observation report (evaluation form) be provided to the teacher "in additionto feedbackthe Arbitrator concludes that the language contemplates and requires that feedbackwhich can take a variety of formswill occur distinct from and prior to the signedfinal evaluation form which is what the Principal in this case transmitted to the Grievant.
Ulffe (extracts)
Did the Department of Education violate Article 20 of the parties' Memorandum of Agreement, Section 6 when it failed to provide Omar Ulffe with a rating for components 2a, 2d, 3b and 3d on his observation report for the lesson dated 5-13-15? If so, what shall be the remedy? 
The grievant, Omar Ulffe, was a fulltime teacher at Pathways College Preparatory School 259Q for the 2014-2015 school year with 3 years of service. He was observed informally on May 13, 2015 and his Evaluation Form 2 (Observation Report), signed by him on June 9, 2015, failed to rate components 2a, 2d, 3b and 3d. The Union contended that each component should have been rated as each one of these components is readily observable in any classroom observation. An Evaluator is expected to evaluate and score the teacher on each of the components of the Danielson 2013 Rubric unless there is no evidence. 
The decision:
….the Undersigned finds that an evaluator is required to rate any component that is observable during an observation. 
We are in the process of fighting two APPR complaints for people I know in Queens High Schools. One is using Castillo as a precedent while the other has found a different technicality. The best advice is to be quick to file the complaint as it cannot be overemphasized we only have five school days to grieve. Creating a paper trail is essential when defending ourselves. Look for procedural loopholes in the MOA or King's decision (the ones listed above are not the only ones by any means) and file online. Don't depend on the chapter leader to do this work.
We are not saying not to try to work things out with administration behind the scenes but teachers should back this up with an electronic paper trail.
Email us at if there are particular concerns.


Anonymous said...

Problem is, UFT leaves you hanging. They say on the form, "print this out, then submit it to your Principal." And, then. . . Nothing. UFT does nothing. You've effectively pissed off your Principal, and then showed him your union doesn't have your back, Thanks UFT. This greivence system is a joke. Why the hell would you tell us to do that?

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