Friday, January 27, 2012

Teachers receiving unsatisfactory ratings

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"I WOULD LIKE to start a new post asking information regarding the WHYS 6 tenured teachers received Unsatisfactory ratings at Midterm this month 2012. My son’s teacher directed me to the PFT WEB SITE. Please post so we can discuss. This is so sad for teachers. As a parent I am on the teachers’ side.


Is this related to RISE.



Questioner said...

There have also been reports of some teachers suddenly "retiring" halfway through this school year.

Anonymous said...

Reports? Questioner, why aren't you linking the comments from the other thread that talks about all of the firings onto this thread?
I read the board minutes every month. This is more than reports.
And now with the revelations of firings, I mean, come on....reports?
RISE? A nice, effective way to fire teachers.

Questioner said...

Link to post that includes a discussion of RISE, as requested:

Anonymous said...

They use Rise to get rid of teachers. If you question the district you could put a target on your back. Rise is so vague and extremely large it is not hard to find something wrong if you want to. It is a total Joke, I can not believe any union would support this. But the PFT supports it, and Nina thinks its the best thing scince sliced bread.

Anonymous said...

On Tuesday, they had hearings for teachers being dismissed every forty five minutes at the board.

Anonymous said...

They are cutting 400 teachers, cutting the number of VP's in the High Schools in half.

When oh, when are they going to cut the deadweight, bloated aministration at South Belfield.

Enough is enough!

Anonymous said...

I understand many of the langley and most of the oliver teachers will be let go and without jobs next year. Why is this so, I thought things were done by seniortiy,

What happen to the schenley teachers and peabody teachers when those schools were closed?

What about the other staff like coaches and security gaurds, are they reasigned by seniority?

These are crazy times and it is only going to get worst under this adminstration. They get rid of teachers and maintain the size of the adm? Do board members have any say so in this lay off process?

Questioner said...

Well that's a good way to encourage teachers to sign up for lower-performing schools- make it a career risk.

Anonymous said...

Please clarify-URGENT

So two Consecutive EIPS = 2 Consecutive Unsatisfactory ratings from Pa state law?

RISE was placed as a state rating system only for PPS teachers--- requirement for the state to show improvement of Pa rating forms.

Paula Bevan must have given great workshops.

PFT did not formally clarify in documentation this is the current rating system? Why on the PFT web site are they stating they are looking into legal violations?

As for the Langley and Oliver teachers that is sad.

One Langley Life Skills teacher-with a small amount of district seniority-is bragging to the whole Langley building she is going to Carrick with her students.

Something is wrong here. She has many connections to be this arrogant? It bothers many on the staff.

Two loaded topics ratings, seniority=favoritism?
With fewer jobs available-seniority lists must be used for openings. Or will they have the Saturday Interview Jam for displaced candidates for openings.

Again -Please clarify-URGENT

Anonymous said...

Apparently Carrick is the magnet school for special education.

Anonymous said...

No it will be the Oliver building.

With it reopened and the HUGE available classroom space with McNaugher placed there.

The new Oliver building will be declared as the newSpecial Education Magnet.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a special ed magnet. I think the admin of spec ed is going to move from Overbrook to Oliver. I am only a parent. I know little. I am trying to pay attention. It is not easy to follow.

Anonymous said...

Yes life skills is a regional classroom-- usually it moves as a whole students and teacher,aide etc. BUT if there are furloughs, that is straight seniority. Please remember there are "hidden"teachers with certifications out there-- no they dont want to teach something they havent taught for a long time, but like most people, they want a job. So while bloated bellefield sits on the money, someone who hasnt taught a subject in years--and this includes vp going back to classroom -- may be there in september. And yes these will be great candidates for EIPs so they arent getting a gift, just a needed job. And yes PFT pres does love rise and the membership did happily vote for this.

Anonymous said...

I thought the PFT contract called for 2 unsats. but you had a year to work on an improvement plan. Now I'm told you only have 1 semester to improve? Is this correct? If it is, did the PFT agree with this? If so, what a shame.

Anonymous said...

If you are put on an Improvement Plan and recieve a critical incident, you are atomatically terminated.

What makes up a critical incident? The intepretation of what is and what is not a critical incident was up to the Principals in the past. Today their seems to be many more critical incidents when teachers are on improvement plans.

The more you fire, the less you have to layoff. The district saves money on unemployment compensation.

We work in the most hostile enviroment ever in the PPS. Keep your mouth shut, or you will be on a improvement plan. Great enviroment for learning with no room for the teacher's ideas or thoughts to fix whats wrong.

I loved my Job, know its so stressful its horrible.

Depressed Teacher

Anonymous said...

They actualy have a catagory for hygine on Rise.

Anonymous said...

Poor kids. Who wants to be educated in a place where your teachers feel like they come to school to have a hand around their throats everyday. When RISE was still in the planning stages I thought "Bring it on, almost all of my kids' teachers can stand up to scrutiny." Never did we think RISE would cause so much strain.

Questioner said...

It doesn't seem to be a real and sincere plan to help teachers succeed. Too bad, because an encouraging, supportive program to help teachers to be their best would empower everyone.

Anonymous said...

Yup, but RISE was part of the Gates money and "education reform." It's another of those things that is happening in cities all around the country, with different names, slightly different words, but the same overall impact.

It all SOUNDS good, but the true purpose of it seems pretty clear now. Look how easy it suddenly is to fire teachers.

But what will you hear in the media? Will there be a rash of stories about how now it's easy to fire teachers? Of course not!

There will be articles about how great it is that the bad teachers are going away and soon most teachers will be young and great. Never mind that they are trained by the districts to be yea-sayers, and will likely be put out before they can get tenure at 4 or 5 or 6 years.
If they don't leave due to the work load, crazy, changing, ever-increasing demands, and lack of support, structure, and discipline from the administration, they can just be evaluated out for not following scripts exactly or not doing the flavor of the week technique every day in every class.

There will be fewer experienced teachers to help them along and there will be an atmosphere that discourages sharing, helping or training your colleagues. But they'll be good little script readers. And if it doesn't work well for their students, they'll be told it's just because they didn't read that script and follow those directions closely enough.

Anonymous said...

What is a critical incident?

Please explain---- please interpret. Hygiene-or does that mean ONE must look and act perfect like Barbie and Ken dolls.

Perfect teeth, hair, etc.

Perfection in looks-cannot dare be ugly overweight to be hired.

Anonymous said...

A critical incident is whatever the administration decides it to be. It's generally when a teacher/staff member commits some perceived-to-be egregious act that requires discipline beyond that which can be dealt by the in-house administration. When a critical incident is documented, that teacher must march down to Bellefield and sit in a room with the administration and Employee Relations to rehash the incident. Afterwards, a decision is made at the Board level as to how/if to discipline the teacher. Outcomes can range from a slap on the wrist to a full blown termination. The inherent problem is that while some administrators are reasonable, quite a few (repeat after me: PELAs) don't have the brains God gave a duck and display a mindset that takes even minor incidents to the level of "critical".

I think the real story here is the PELA debacle. The truly FABULOUS principals in the district, the ones making great strides in raising test scores and promoting a positive work environment, are those who ARE NOT products of the PELA program. Those who were indoctrinated by the PELA program are, for all intents and purposes, put through what amounts to a year of calculated brain washing. They are told what to wear; how to behave both on and OFF the job; forced to put in long hours that separate them from their friends and family; taught to manipulate the RISE process in a way that allows them to target anyone they please; and then promised high-paying principal positions when their training is complete. Put them in a room together and it becomes a surreal episode of the "Stepford Administrators". They look alike; they dress alike; they use the same phrases and vocabulary. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end to see them touring our building on District-sponsored witch hunts, otherwise known as Walk-throughs. They regale students (usually the ones who only show up once a month--on the day of the Walk-through) with loaded questions (Does your teacher always dress like that? Do you work in groups only when the class is being observed?), then they "tut" under their collective breath (I swear it's as if they breath TOGETHER), and finally they wield their poisoned pens and put to paper comments that will be reviewed between teachers and administration at the next faculty meeting.

If the rise (pun intended) of unsatisfactory ratings has any catalyst behind it, I think it can be traced back to the PELA program--a move to develop "yes-men" who can now be the long-arm of the Bellefield law.

Questioner said...

What are some examples of critical incidents?

Anonymous said...

I will never forget the incident that happened in our building some years ago with a teacher who was eventually "relocated". She had had it with a student and told him she was no longer going to tolerate him "entertaining the masses" in the back of the room. Our principal at the time, a PELA, was told by the student and a para that the teacher had said that the student would no longer be permitted to "entertain them asses" in the back of the room. The teacher tried to defend herself and explain the cliche and how/why she had used it to no avail. The incident was written up as critical and sent to the Board for review. Wiser minds must have prevailed because I never heard that she was disciplined in any meaningful (i.e. suspension, etc) way.

Some critical incidents can be valid, as when teachers fight amongst themselves in front of students, but I'm anxious to read of other "incidents".

By the way, if the teacher who was involved in the above incident is reading, I would love to hear where she went and what the final outcome of her hearing was.