Does the DOE’s failure to follow its own handbook for rating teachers render a U-rating invalid?

Yes. Carmen Applewhite, a special education teacher sought to annul her 2007 to 2008 U rating which she claimed was based on six unsigned disciplinary letters to her file. The DOE, without following its own procedures, affirmed her U-rating and Applewhite appealed. Justice Joan B. Lobis of the New York County Supreme Court dismissed the petition finding that a violation of the Ratings Handbook was not the equivalent of a violation of an agency’s own rules. Applewhite appealed and the First Department reversed finding that the DOE’s determination to sustain Applewhite’s U-rating was not rationally based on administrative findings.

Matter of Applewhite v. Board of Education, 2014 NY Slip Op 01501, 1st Dept., March 6, 2014.


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