March 8, 2009

"Contractual responses" — what a laugh

On page 10 of this week's NY Teacher, there's a "Know Your Rights" discussion about Classroom Observations. It's actually a reprint of what the union put out on the subject two years ago — Feb. 6, 2007 — which pre-dates the current contract by a good many months.

It may be that the last contract said the same thing about observations as the one we have now. I don't have a copy of it anymore, so I can't check. But, what concerns me is this paragraph:
If the observation is rated “unsatisfactory,” you should speak to your chapter leader, who can explain the various contractual responses you can pursue [two years ago, "available to you"].
Here's the question: What "contractual responses" does the union have in mind for the teachers that get an unsatisfactory on an observation they believe has no merit? A fireside chat with the principal? Maybe I'm wrong, but I remember we used to be able to grieve the lies and distortions that go into our files by sub-standard administrators.

Those were the days.

The way I see it, these paragraphs in "Know Your Rights" are pretty useless on any level, but if anyone has any idea how this contract allows us to defend ourselves properly against malicious untruths, please let us all know in a comment. If I'm missing something here, I promise to follow up with a correction, or take down this post altogether.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any type of "letter in the file," whether it be an observation report, reprimand, or "findings after an investigation" letter may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education in Albany within thirty days of knowledge of the letter pursuant to Education Law §310.