As a member of the exclusive ATR club and one of the 221 teachers who were brought up on charges, but not fired. I can say that I speak from experience.
This blog was originally published to show the injustices that occur within the New York City Department of Education. My trip to the ATR pool was a long journey that began in April 2009, with an arrest of a student. It ended in August of 2014 with me being put in the ATR pool.
From my first day as a student teacher on September 11, 2001 to my last day at Manhattan Center for Science and Math high school in June 2013 I always gave my students the best education possible. Every morning before I walked out of my office I would always read the same quote from Joe Dimaggio that had on my bulletin board in front of my desk. The quote simply stated ” There is always some kid who is seeing me for the first or last time and I owe them my best.” and my best is what I gave them. My students always performed extremely well on the New York State American history regents this allowed me attain a 98% Passing rate on that exam. (THIS IS A FACT THAT WAS NEVER DISPUTED AT MY 3020A HEARING CONSIDERING THAT I WAS CHARGED WITH INCOMPETENT.)
My trip to the ATR pool started because I questioned the policies of both principal David Jimenez and AP of Security Daniel Albetta these two individuals in returned started a personal vendetta against me using both OSI and SCI to investigate me.(FOR SOME OF MY PEERS AND READERS THIS STORY MAY SOUND FAMILIAR.) From 2010-2013 I was investigated by OSI three times. I’ve also received three different visits from SCI on various complaints filed by both Jimenez and Albetta. Recently I foiled my three OSI investigations all three were unsubstantiated and in one the OSI investigator was Lawrence Scott. (This is the same individual who wanted sex from a teacher to drop the charges against her.) Scott according to the report questioned Jimenez’s credibility.
In March of 2010 Mr. Albetta filed the first frivolous osi report against me. (The image above is his signature on the complaint) According to Albetta’s report a student filed a complaint because I had a mean look on my face in a store across the street from the school. This charged was unsubstantiated, but it put my name on the radar for OSI. The second charge against me was filed on October 19,, 2010 and unsubstantiated on November 11,2011. The name of the AP who signed it is illegible and I was never told of the investigation. But the date coincides with the second walk out of Jimenez’s term these charges were also unsubstantiated. In the case that Lawrence Scott investigated, Jimenez’s credibility was questioned again went he stated that I set up a blog called theramifications.com . Once again the charges were unsubstantiated.
In between these frivolous-osi-reports Jimenez and Albetta refused to conducted formal observations of me.( A formal observation requires a pre observations conference in which a supervisor gives you a definitive date and shows up on that day during the assigned period. The pre observation also includes a discussion of the lesson you are planning to use. After the obsevation there is a Post Observation conference in which the teacher and supervisor discuss the lesson.) Jimenez and Albetta both used the Gotcha observation to U rated me. (This is when a supervisor walks in and observe you for a period without any knowledge of the lessons you taught prior or why you are teaching that certain lesson on the day they walk in on you.)
Unfortunately, Teaching is not as easy as everyone thinks. A teacher can work for 8 hours on planning a lesson and it just doesn’t work, Meanwhile, a lesson planned in five minutes might be extraordinary on that day. Many teachers can attest to this.
Between the Gotcha observations and the U ratings were the constant writes up for made up offenses. For example, I was assigned to hall duty which simple means that I had to make sure no students were in the hall. One day a student was going door to door disrupting the educational process. I escorted this child back to his class and was reprimanded for leaving the area next to a locked bathroom. This write was tossed by the Arbitrator in my 3020A hearing.
While the Post article highlights the fact that nearly 221 of the 1131 teachers in the ATR pool were in the ATR pool for disciplinary reasons.
The article does not cite that the average age of teachers in the ATR pool is 40.
The average time on the job that these teachers have is 11 years.
My Questions are simple:
How come Principals who filed frivolous allegations are not held accountable for the number of unsubstantiated reports they file?