Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NYC Charter School Teachers 
Back Off From Union

FROM: David Galarza

April 27, 2010


Charter schools came under a harsh spotlight last week, with State Senator Bill Perkins holding his long-awaited hearing in an attempt to examine how the privately operated schools spend their public money. The hearings prompted several articles in the papers exploring potential conflicts of interest and other practices that have raised the ire of critics — and the issues are not limited to New York. And The New York Post took on Mr. Perkins with zeal in its editorial pages.
But as the public clashes raged, a quieter battle began coming to an end.

Just a year after voting to join the United Federation of Teachers, staff members at KIPP AMP Academy Charter School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, voted to rescind the decision to sign up with the city’s teachers’ union. The petition to break from the union was filed Wednesday afternoon with signatures from 16 staff members, including one dean of the school, an office manager and an operations manager, as well as several teachers.

To explain technical matters: The staff members are asking the Public Employment Relations Board to decertify the United Federation of Teachers as their collective bargaining representatives.

The split appears to be a loss for the union, which has put an emphasis on creating chapters at existing charter schools. Teachers at charter schools tend to work longer — 12- or even 16-hour days are not unusual — and do not have the job protections the unions provide.

The U.F.T. will fight the decision with the Public Employment Relations Board by suggesting that the teachers were intimidated by management and that a group of teachers is still committed to joining the union.

Negotiations between the union and KIPP management had been quietly plodding along for months, though there was no indication that they were anywhere near an agreement. But for now, all negotiations will halt.

Unlike many of the fights over charter schools, the battle over the union at KIPP has been relatively quiet — few advocates on either side have drawn attention to it as they did with a battle in Baltimore, where the KIPP school shortened the length of the day and eliminated Saturday classes.

Lyle Zuckerman, a lawyer for the teachers who filed the petition, said that none of the teachers were willing to speak to a reporter about the matter, in part because of the union’s suggestion that it intends to fight in court.

Mr. Zuckerman said that the guidance counselor leading the charge to decertify the union, Dameon Clay, told him that the school’s administration had changed in the last year and that the current staff has an excellent and trusting relationship with them.

“We think that we can deal with them directly without a third party, and that would be best for the staff and our students,” Mr. Clay said in a statement provided by Mr. Zuckerman. “The staff and the administration know our students well, we know the parents well, and we know firsthand what’s in their best interests.

“As for personnel matters,” the statement continued, “we’re confident that we can deal with the administration directly as advocates for ourselves. We trust that the new administrators will deal with us fairly.”

When the teachers moved to join the union last year, several of them cited high teacher turnover as a reason for their worry. This year, roughly half the teachers at the school were also at the school last year. Several teachers who joined the effort to form the union last year signed the petition to remove themselves from it last week.

Last year, one teacher changed her mind about joining the union fairly quickly, saying that she came to believe the union would do more harm than good for the teachers.

So what happens next at the school? First, the state’s labor relations board would have to approve the decertification petition. If that happens, the teachers at the school will vote on whether they want to join the union.

Unions are generally anathema to charter school operators, who say they thrive on flexibility and creating their own culture at schools. And so the unions and charter school advocates are seemingly engaged in a open warfare in New York City, where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein have embraced them with open arms.

But in Albany, negotiations continue over plans to increase the cap on charter schools — currently at 100. Mayor Bloomberg and other advocates want it raised significantly or lifted entirely, which they say would give the state a better shot at millions of dollars from the competitive federal education grant known as Race to the Top. Needless to say, there are more battles to come.

Every Tuesday, education beat reporters for The New York Times take you inside the New York City school system. 

Have a tip? Send it to IntheSchools@nytimes.com.
Senator Bill Perkins Fights The Charter School Bumrush in Harlem!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Video Excerpts from NY State Senator Bill Perkins Hearing On Charter Schools

As the BloomKlein Cabal proceeds to ram as many charter schools into Black and Latino community schools, there is mounting opposition growing not only from parents, students and educators in all the invaded noncharter schools, but mounting opposition is also growing among charter school parents. They are slowly but surely recognizing the hype they have been hoodwinked into believing. You will see some of this in these video excerpts from the 22 April 2010 hearing. 

The commentary that introduces each of the four video excerpts was written by education activist Norm Scott. These video excerpts were provided by Norma Scott

Lydia Bellahcene, Parent PS 15K. Lydia was there all day - from even before I arrived at 10- with her young child, who just may be the best behaved child I have ever seen in my life. Lydia makes an awesome presentation here. I've gotten to know her through PAVE and she never ceases to amaze me. That the actions of BloomKlein have led to activating her and people like her is a sign of their ultimate failure.


Khem Irby, Parent District 13, Brooklyn- another awesome parent advocate. Khem is always there for everyone. She makes a statement for Leonie and for herself.

Sonia Hampton, Parent PS/MS 149, Harlem. This is the first time I've seen Sonia and my mouth fell open at her testimony. I wanted her to go on forever.

Bill Hargraves and Akinlabi Mackall do a lot of community organizing in a number of spheres including the Coalition for Public Education, which has been exploring opportunities to work together with GEM.

Commentary from Norm Scott: 
These parent and community voices have been so strong and it's been a pleasure getting to know them over the past year. Ed Notes has often been looked at as a voice for teachers. But since I began teaching I had the utmost respect for many of the parents I met. I can honestly say I had fantastic relationships with the parents of the kids in my class. I worked very hard at it. The first day of school I gave them my phone number (see KIPP, we did it 40 years before you). That built trust and helped enormously, though they rarely called. Kids were very rarely able to divide me from their parents or use them against me. It had a big impact on their behavior and created an extremely positive climate for all of us. Teachers must find ways to create links to parents, both educationally and politically. Without a joint alliance, the forces of BloomKlein and neoliberalism, which has a basic aim of sowing divisions, win out.

I started a new you tube channel - ednotesonline - and future videos will no longer be listed under norscot2, though you can still access the 77 videos I already posted there. Other videos will be posted at the GEMNYC you tube channel.

If traffic gets too heavy for all these videos and slows up the blog, let me know and I will pull them and leave just the links to you tube.

All videos must be 10 minutes so I had to do some trimming to get them in. So if you see yourself and a bit is missing that is why.

Coming in next batches: Magnificent Mona and cohort charter school parents rake over charter school operators, followed by the John White interrogation on how charter schools get parent info.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And GRITTV Newspiece on NYC's Segregated School System 

Monday April 12, 2010 

Brother Angel says:
<<"PS 123/Harlem Success hearing: April 12, 2010
I was at the rousing PS 123/Harlem Success invasion hearing on Monday April 12 and it's been wonderful to see this Harlem school community get themselves organized. The teachers and parents did an amazing job. They even had posters made up of the Klein/Moskowitz letters. GEM has been involved since the end of the last school year and was there with our banner this time too. ..."

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Students Don't Learn More Science Under Chicago Public Schools
College-Prep-for-All Policy
Get the report at: http://news.uchicago.edu/images/pdf/100312.ccsr-report.pdf

THE University of Chicago education newspiece was interesting, but not surprising. What I have to say isnothing really new, nor is it specific only to the sciences, but I've long felt that the problem lies in the way sciences are taught -- and I'm guilty as charged, in my own educational practice. In my experience, science tends to be taught like a language (and not even good language-teaching), flooding the students with a wealth of vocabulary, concepts and factoids, which are illustrated with examples, supplemented with cookbook labs and enriched with "projects." This type of science education becomes even more pronounced when we are forced to teach to tests. I did this for much of the decade I taught high school science, and have continued in this mode as an adjunct for most of the past decade, in both cases with exceptions I will mention.

This is not science education, and it is not science. In fact, it is the antithesis of science. To me, science is about creative inquiry into the laws of motion of the natural world. At least, that's why I decided to do graduate work in biology. But, if the powers that be were really interested in teaching SCIENCE, that's how courses, from the most basic on up, would be designed. Labs wouldn't be add-ons, rather, courses would be built around practical and real inquiry. This obviously wouldn't work with a one-size fits all, standardized curriculum.

I had the opportunity to work with undergraduate and high school interns in my lab at the museum of natural history. In just a few weeks over the summer -- for the undergrads -- or a semester -- for the high school kids -- students gained a depth of understanding of those concepts that I had never achieved in a classroom. More importantly, they were fired up, taking initiative and actively asking questions and following leads.

This type of science education is not for everyone. Presumably most students (most of us) are not particularly interested in scientific research, although I believe all students should be required to experience one course of this type. But most people are interested in science insofar as it touches their lives in other ways. Health, the environment, literature, art, social concerns. So, for me, the other way to teach science is also based on inquiry, but contextualized. Here, the parallel with learning a language the RIGHT way is striking: Freire's praxis -- "reading the word to read and change the world."

Perhaps the classroom course I taught in which high school students achieved the greatest sophistication of understanding of such basic scientific concepts as pH, natural cycles, food chains, etc., was a semester-long class on environmental health/racism that the students and I thrashed out together. The focus of the class was a medical waste incinerator in the South Bronx, where most of the students lived.

Another illustrative experience was an HIV/AIDS peer-education group we started at Seward Park High School, when I was HIV/AIDS coordinator (when such things were allowed to exist). In this case, not only was the subject up close and personal for many of the students, but they were the teachers. One student in the group, Luis, was the oldest of five siblings in a family in which his mom was the only caregiver, and she was dying of AIDS. Luis was the recognized leader of the group and the best educator. And, he went on to study cell biology.

If ObamaDuncanBloombergKlein want to promote the sciences, they'd better rethink their entire educational paradigm, from the bottom-up. But, of course they want to promote the sciences only for some, while continuing to mystify them -- and their practitioners -- for the masses.

Michael Friedman, Ph.D.
City University of New York

Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street and Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Office: 212-313-8721
Cell: 718-812-4246


Research concludes that students don't learn more science under Chicago Public Schools College-Prep-for-All Policy

March 15, 2010

A Chicago Public Schools policy that dramatically increased science requirements did not help students learn more science and actually may have hurt their college prospects, according to a new report from the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.

The science policy was part of a larger CPS initiative to expose all students to a college–preparatory curriculum by increasing course requirements across a range of subjects.

Though CPS high school students took and passed more college–prep science courses under the new policy, overall performance in science classes did not improve, with five of every six students earning Cs or lower. College-going rates declined significantly among graduates with a B average or better in science, and they dipped for all students when researchers controlled for changes in student characteristics over time.

The report, "Passing Through Science: The Effects of Raising Graduation Requirements in Science on Course–taking and Academic Achievement in Chicago," has significant implications for districts across the country considering requiring a college–preparatory curriculum for all students. In 2009, 21 states required all students to take four years of math and a minimum of three years of science to graduate high school. These policies were a response to long–running concerns that American students are falling behind their peers on international tests, particularly in math and science. Most recently, President Obama announced a major new public–private initiative designed to increase student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

CPS was at the forefront of the movement to require a college–preparatory science curriculum for all. In 1997, CPS mandated that all incoming ninth–graders take three years of college–preparatory science coursework. This policy change occurred several years before many states raised their science requirements and eight years before the state of Illinois instituted a more modest increase.

To examine the effect of the policy change, the CCSR report compares academic outcomes for cohorts of students in Chicago before and after the 1997 policy switch. 

Key findings from the report include:

* The new curriculum policy ended low expectations for science coursework. Two years before the policy change, less than half of CPS graduates passed three or more college–prep science courses; most did not complete more than one. Immediately after the change, almost all graduates passed at least three full–year science classes.
* Most graduates received a C average or lower in science, which was similar to the performance of graduates before the policy change.
* Because of policy's structure, students were less likely after the policy to take both physics and chemistry, a combination that is common for students aspiring to college nationally.
* Graduation rates declined by four percentage points in the first year of the policy and another percentage point in the next year, after accounting for changes in the backgrounds and prior achievement of students entering CPS high schools.
* College enrollment did not increase under the new policy; nor did college persistence (students were no more likely to stay in college for at least two years).

Get the report at: http://news.uchicago.edu/images/pdf/100312.ccsr-report.pdf

Monday, April 12, 2010

English Language Learners Get Their Tongues Tied By BloomKlein


At the heart of this news article on New York City Public Schools' failure to provide legally mandated instructional services to thousands of English language learners is the State's constitutional obligations to protect the civil rights of a protected class of students (LEP/ELL student) as per federal, state and court mandates.

Based on information available from the New York State Education Department:


New York City District Data  for 2008-2009 
in Aggregate for all districts

(minus all the high schools except alternate high schools)

The question is not whether ELL graduation rates are improving. The question is whether ELL students are being properly identified, properly placed in either ESL or TBE programs (i.e., provided appropriate instructional programing) by ceritified, qualified teachers.

The District summaries re LEP/ELLs show significant deficiencies in a number of districts; and indicate systemic issues of lack of reporting (Language Allocation Policy documents) in 675 schools in New York City as of December 19, 2009 and an alarming number of  LEP/ELLs (10,077) not accounted for by Districts in their submitted documents.

The large number of ELLs not served (8,000+) and the large number of ELl enrolled in ESL only classes who should be in Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) classes, as well as the 15% of ELLs who are long-term ELLs (more than 6 years identified as ELLs and still eligible) are cause for great concern and for deliberate action by NYC schools, districts and the central NYC Department of Education administration. Planning is not enough. Action plans with benchmarks and timelines for implementation and compliance and consequences are essential.

 Beyond NYC's obligations are the obligations of the Education Commissioner and the NY State Education Department of Education to ensure equal educational opportunity to LEP/ELL students. The State must  also ensure the provision of a sound basic education in keeping with the State Constitution, the Court of Appeals decision in Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and the NY State Budget Laws enacted in 2007-2008, including the Contract for Excellence funding requirements. Finally, The Commissioner must enforce his own regulations and take appropriate action when they are not followed.

Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D.

New York Post
Tongue tied at school
April 12, 2010

More than 8,000 city public school students struggling to learn English didn't get any language help last year, even though they were entitled to it by law, state statistics show.

Another 43,000 kids -- or nearly one in three of the 138,000 students identified by the city as "English language learners" -- didn't get the full range of services they should have received during the 2008-09 school year.

Among the districts with the largest gaps in English language support were Manhattan's District 3, where 11.7 percent of the roughly 2,000 foreign-language speakers identified got no services last year, and Brooklyn's District 14, where nearly 11 percent received no services, according to the data.

"There's a neglect here and an unwillingness for people to say we need to hold [somebody] accountable for the results of these students," said Luis Reyes, a longtime bilingual educator and former member of the city's Board of Education. "It's not clear that anybody is paying attention."

Non-native English language speakers are supposed to be offered programs in English as a Second Language, bilingual programs, or both.
ESL classes give students some support in their native language, while bilingual programs help them to develop more fully in both their native language and in English.

Students in these programs are among those with the lowest four-year high school graduation rates in the city.

School officials said the state's numbers were misleading because schools have been offering students bilingual programs as an opt-in service since 2001, rather than making the classes mandatory.

They added that schools have until the end of April to dispute the figures, which could then change significantly.

But Deycy Avitia, a director of organizing at the New York Immigration Coalition, said her group had documented wide gaps in service to English learners since at least 2005, when principals began getting more autonomy over school budgets.

"You're talking about some very complex educational issues, and not everybody has that level of expertise to be able to make the best decisions," Avitia said.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Rubber Room Battle Continues!

In Support of Closing NYC ‘Rubber Rooms’
By Attorney Dr. Joy Hochstadt

     On behalf of themselves and similarly situated tenured educators employed or formerly employed by the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”), and brought up on Disciplinary Charges since the abolishment of the Board of Education , Plaintiffs are bringing a class action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education for violation of their Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection of the laws and to due process as well as their First Amendment right to speak out on important issues of public concern.

         Since 2002, the Mayor of New York City has had executive control over its school system, granted to him by enabling legislation enacted by the New York State legislature.  The Board of Education was dissolved and the operations of the City School District for the City of New York was assumed by a Department of Education.  Some of the previous functions of the Board of Education were transferred to 13-member Panel on Educational Policy appointed by the Mayor.

         The functions transferred are those embodied in New York State Education Law §2590-g. Education Law §2590-g, however, has no provision for the review and scrutiny of whether there is Probable Cause to proceed with the prosecution of Disciplinary Charges against tenured educational personnel.

          Without this due process protection of a vote on “probable cause,” by a school board independent of school administration there has been a many fold increase in the number of NYC teachers brought up on disciplinary charges.  The increase has largely reflected frivolous, exaggerated, and just plain erroneous charges by principals now needing nothing more than their supervisors’ signature to be rid of teachers they want out of their schools. 

         Since the abolishment of the NYC Board of Education in 2002 to the present time, between 1000 and 2000 tenured educators employed by the DOE were brought up on disciplinary charges without benefit of a vote of the Board of the City School District as required by the provisions of NYS Education Law 3020-a.

         Public school teachers and former public school teachers are seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, arising from the Department of Education’s intentional actions which have been to used to deny contractual and statutory rights to which all other New York State Teachers are accorded and for which New York City teachers were accorded prior to the advent of Mayoral control of the New York City Schools.     

         Public school teachers and other educational personnel employed by, or formerly employed by Defendant DOE are being brought up on disciplinary charges that are pre-textual, orchestrated, and in some cases perjured and fabricated no longer have a choice of arbitrator as all other educators in NYS outside of NYC still do; they no longer have the right to a three arbitrator panel when incompetence or pedagogical judgment is at issue. 

         NYC teachers a waiting hearings on disciplinary charges are removed from their schools and sent to Teacher Reassignment Centers (“TRC”), to await the commencement of the New York State Educational Law §3020-a (“3020-a”) process, typically a one to three year wait for the trial to even begin.  Nowhere else in the State are certified tenured educators warehoused, given no work, prohibited from doing other work or using electronic devices of any type and guarded by uniformed security personnel who must monitor their movement even to the lavatory.  Often their only administrative contact is with clerical level staff who treat them as “pariahs.”  Both the TRC’s (better known as “Rubber Rooms”) and the way the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the United Federation of Teachers (“UFT”) supersedes the original statutory provisions of 3020 and 3020-a are unique to NYC.  Elsewhere in NYS an educator remains in place until the hearings begin (or, in certain instances, is asked to remain at home if the allegations suggest contact with students is contraindicated).  The educator outside NYC has a choice between the provisions of the 3020-a statute as enacted, or the local CBA; not so in NYC where the 3020-a was amended so the NYC educators have no option but the CBA.  The Class Action asks the Court to strike down this section of 3020-a as being unconstitutional in denying NYC educators equal protection of the law compared to similarly situated educators in the rest of NYS.

       Education Law 3020-a, under which tenured personnel may be disciplined for “Just Cause” requires that ‘before’ charges can be brought against a tenured educator, the School Board must: determine that there is “probable cause” for the proceeding with charges by a majority vote.  The Board then makes a determination within 5 days of the Charges being filed with the Board.  At that time they ensure that the decision to proceed with the charges is not frivolous, arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory.  This step is bypassed for NYC educators, another constitutional violation of equal protection which the Class Action seeks to have reinstated and enforced.

     However, without a School Board to perform this function, and without the duty to perform this independent review assigned to the Panel on Educational Policy, there is no oversight by anyone other than the tenured educator’s Principal to initiate the disciplinary process and Local Superintendent to endorse it.

     This pre-emption of due process review of Disciplinary Charges mandated by 3020-a, has been occurring since the Mayoral control of the NYC Schools began. Related to the failure of a School Board used to review has been a three to fourfold increase of 3020-a charges brought against NYC teachers compared to a lack of increase in the rate of similar charges being brought against tenured educators elsewhere in the State.

     These differential rates, of filing of disciplinary charges indicate de facto denial of equal protection of the 3020-a law when the additional due process safeguard was removed.  Further, the teachers brought up on disciplinary charges, since the advent of Mayoral control as a group, earn salaries that are on the average at least $20,000.00 higher and they are also disproportionately African-American, Latino, and over the age of 50.

       Without oversight of an independent Board, the charges preferred are more often than not, frivolous, arbitrary, capricious, and frequently an attempt to silence criticism by senior teachers and other educational personnel that observe new Principals undertaking inappropriate means to make it appear that students are progressing more successfully than is actually occurring in order to protect their own jobs since Principals and other Supervisors (e.g. Assistant Principals) traded their tenure for considerable incentive pay based on student performance in or around 2006.  Charges are also more often than not preferred against the highest paid teachers, since actual teacher salaries have been charged to school budgets since the advent of Mayoral control of the NYC schools.

     New York City students are thus, being deprived of some of the best educated and experienced teachers under the guise of purging the system of what the Chancellor has been told is “deadwood,” but in actuality is; any teacher or administrator who is perceived by the school Principal as a challenge to that Principal’s practices.
Consequently, NYC students have lost some of their most acclaimed teachers in Math, the Sciences, Film, Arts, and other subjects.

     The first Medical Illustration program in the nation was dismantled when its founder and beloved teacher, Plaintiff David Pakter was removed from his school in retaliation for his whistle-blowing on a new Principal’s policies.  The minority students who were prepared each year for the best colleges via this program lost an important vehicle to upward achievement and mobility.

     Teachers with established relationships with students assisted them with the development of their lives and careers but have been removed from the classroom and replaced with younger less experienced teachers by the Department of Education to save money and gain submissiveness.  The students of said teachers removed without probable cause suffer and the fine educational programs developed by those teachers are discontinued.

     Instructional initiatives that take years to develop is abandoned when an experienced teacher is replaced with first a year recruit.  Such replacement of tenured teachers to save money is not only detrimental to the instruction of NYC students but is against the law and it is a deprivation of the contractual, statutory and constitutional rights of Educators.

     Education Laws §§ 2590-j, 3020-a and 3020 were amended to treat New York City different from the rest of the state but these changes deny due process and equal protection to New York City tenured educators which they previously enjoyed and which remain the rights of tenured educators in all other parts of New York State.

Changes to NYC Teachers contract includes but is not limited to:

1.     The loss of the right to select procedures for the 3020-a hearing.
Only in NYC are  tenured educators, denied the provisions of the very statute under     
which their due process rights are protected  and have no option other than that  
offered by the UFT Collective  Bargaining Agreement.
2.     Only in New York City do tenured educators have no say in the selection of an arbitrator for their proceeding;
Instead Educators are assigned an arbitrator from a panel whose members are  
selected or retained by a process that may be influenced by factors other than to
obtain the fairest and most sympathetic arbitrators for the union members facing  
the charges.              
3.     Only in NYC are tenured educators brought up on charges for incompetence denied a three member arbitration panel.
Teachers are now being denied the statutory provision of the right to a three member panel for their arbitration, even if they request it as soon as they are served the charges and their case includes issues of incompetence or pedagogical judgment..
4.    Only in NYC, are arbitrators put on a permanent panel and paid up to $2000/day
In contrast to the statutory provision that states that only ad hoc individually selected arbitrators may be paid at the American Arbitration Association rate.   This arrangement tends to induce the arbitrators’ dependency on the steady permanent payment arrangement favoring the employer whom they perceive as the more powerful force in influencing their own job retention in the arbitrator role.
5.     Only in NYC are tenured educators removed from their teaching assignments and made to endure long waits in “reassignment centers” until they have a hearing.  Elsewhere in the state tenured educators who face allegations that are not deemed dangerous to students await their proceedings in place or if accused of conduct that could harm students await their proceedings at home.
6.    Only in NYC must tenured educators, await their hearings on the 3020-a charges in reassignment centers
These so called “Rubber Rooms” are tantamount to constructive termination and are intentionally operated in a manner designed to induce constructive termination before the 3020-a hearing has ever begun. The Ruuber Rooms are intentionally “hostile work environments” that deny educators basic civil rights.
7.     Elsewhere in the state when the tenured educator has completed the 3020-a process, they are returned to regular duty after a suspension or a fine or a letter of reprimand is imposed as a penalty.
Only in NYC are the almost negligible few tenured educators who are totally exonerated of any and all charges returned to their regular assignment.
8.    In NYC, all tenured educators who have undergone a 3020-a process, and have been fined, suspended, or even nominally or reprimanded, are forever, thereafter, relegated to perform day-to-day substitute assignments.
And thereafter looked down upon as “Pharisees” or bought up on more charges and sent back to the Rubber Room to face another 3020-a hearing, when the first proceeding has failed to accomplish the goal of terminating them entirely from the system.
9.     Only in NYC are tenured educators, awaiting 3020-a hearings reassigned to “holding pens” where uniformed guards monitor their movements.
There they must agree in writing not to use electronic devices of any kind; they have no assigned duties, but are not permitted to perform other work.

10.   These practices are in violation of Chancellor’s Regulation C-770.
Regulation C-770 specifies that tenured educators must be reassigned in their own community school district (which since the abolishment of those too they have not—the community schools districts have been reinstated to an extent but the “reassigned” teachers are still being sent to huge confinement facilities holding as many as 300 teachers at one place). Regulation C-770 also provides that “reassigned educators” must be assigned meaningful, appropriate professional work, and must be treated in a dignified, professional and respectful manner (the opposite of each of these are true).

     On June 27, 2008, the DOE and the UFT entered into an agreement which vowed to end many of the most egregious practices, herein complained of.  Agreement was executed by Defendant Klein and Randi Weingarten, then President of the United of Federation Teachers’ Union.  That agreement has not been complied with by the DOE or the Defendants. 

Instead, NYC educators have been, and continue to be herded into over-crowded spaces which confine as many as 300 tenured educators, in a single space (25 Chapel Street, Brooklyn, New York) or in detention camp environments, that are comprised of trailers within chain link cages, prison-styled and supervised by a uniformed employee referred to as a “warden.” (W. 193rd Street and Audubon Avenue, New York, New York).

         The rubber rooms are a totally pre-adjudication detention center.  To further harass reassigned educators, they are supervised by unskilled, clerical level staff subordinate to Defendant Rivera, who with Defendant Rivera and the Principals who sent them to the rubber rooms, make post hoc rules, change the rules after the fact and intentionally conduct themselves in a manner most likely to induce Plaintiffs to suffer humiliation, defamation and to retire earlier than they would otherwise elect to retire.

   The conditions can be horrific; the overcrowding and the poor air circulation in the windowless space that was the 333 7th Avenue rubber room, with several Public Employees Safety and Health (“PESH”) violations having caused serious respiratory disease in at least 25% of the “reassigned” tenured educators, and having caused the death of one educator, Gilda Teel, whose bronchial pneumonia was not only directly due to the poor air quality in that rubber room, but was exacerbated by clinical depression caused by the false and unjust, but nevertheless trivial single accusation against her, for which the DOE sought her termination.

Among the questions of law and fact common to Teachers and Educational Personnel is:
 (1) Did the by-passing of Board of Education review for probable cause and vote as to whether the 3020-a charges should be brought, prior to their being brought against tenured educators, is in violation of NY Educ. L. 3020-a constitute denial of due process?

(2) Does the treatment of NYC tenured educators having fewer options, under the 3020-a, and 3020 laws than tenured educators throughout the rest of NYS, constitute denial of equal protection under the law to NYC educators.

(3) Does the often several year confinement to Rubber Rooms for 7 hours per day for up to 196 days per year for pedagogues and longer for administrative titles, under the terms and conditions
incumbent in and enforced in said Rubber Rooms, which is always pre-adjudication of any guilt being found on any charges, constitute a denial of due process rights.

(4) Does the violation of Chancellor’s Regulation C-770 which requires any disciplinary reassignment must be within the Community School District, and that appropriate professional work be assigned, constitute contractual and due process violations.  
(5)    Should Rubber Rooms be shut down as a result of being intentionally operated in a manner inducive of constructive termination, having violated?

 (6)Are Teachers and other Educational Personnel due process and state guaranteed tenure rights being violated?

(7) Have the civil rights of NYC educators been impermissibly injured by the New York City Department of Education? If yes, then should NYC Teachers and other Educational Personnel subject to charges since disbanding of the NYC Board of Education, as a minimum, be entitled to have any adverse ruling made against them, expunged in order that they may secure other education opportunities and not be collaterally estopped when they make their individual claims.  

(8) And lastly, whether as a result of those violations Teachers and Educational Personnel who have not already made claims for damages in their own prior Individual Actions be entitled to damages in this Class Action and should not all NYC educators be prospectively entitled to injunctive relief so that these egregious practices end?

For more information contact Dr. Joy Hochstadt
 Jennifer Saunders @ jenisis123@aol.com

EDNY Class Action