Will a challenge to a teacher’s termination be sustained when the DOE utilized its “streamlined procedures” to dismiss a teacher after two consecutive ineffective ratings?

No.  Since becoming a NYC DOE teacher in 2001 petitioner received satisfactory ratings until 2009. Thereafter she received unsatisfactory rating and when the HEDI system was implemented received two ineffective ratings in a row.

The petitioner received observations in the second year of the HEDI ratings by both her principal and an independent validator who both confirmed her overall ineffective rating even though petitioner was rated effective for her student performance measures.

An arbitrator, after a hearing of three witnesses, an assistant principal, the validator and the petitioner herself, found petitioner to be ineffective and ordered her to be terminated from DOE employment.

Petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court, New York County. Petitioner argued that the arbitrator’s use of the presumptions which shifted the burden in the new expedited termination cases based on two consecutive ineffective ratings was improperly applied in her case. The Court found that while the arbitrator was not exact in her statements about the new evaluation scheme, overall it could not be said that her decision was irrational or that it violated public and policy and lacked merit.

Justice Edmead found that the new evaluation scheme was proper and was properly applied in this case and affirmed the termination.

2016 NY Slip Op 26179, IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF NELLINE DOUGLAS, Petitioner, v. THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Respondent. Supreme Court, New York County. Decided June 6, 2016.

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