Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Unsatisfactory performance rating


Unsatisfactory performance rating 
2014 NY Slip Op 03765, Appellate Division, First Department

A second-year probationary teacher took over the class in the second week of November. The principal gave her Unsatisfactory Performance Rating [U-rating] at the end of the school year based on facts indicating a lack of progress toward implementing suggestions to improve the teaching and learning environment in the classroom, together with the principal’s view that the teacher had inherited a well-managed class without instructional and disciplinary concerns which deteriorated under the probationary teacher's leadership.

The teacher filed an Article 78 petition seeking a court order annulling her U-rating for the school year. Supreme Court granted her petition and remanding the matter to the New York City Board of Education for a new determination of the teacher’s performance rating for that year.

The Appellate Division unanimously reversed the Supreme Court ruling “on the law,” explaining that on the records presented the teacher failed to demonstrate that the U-rating was arbitrary and capricious, or made in bad faith.

The court said that the record showed a rational basis for the conclusion that the teacher’s performance was unsatisfactory as evidenced by the three formal classroom observation reports describing her performance in class management and engagement of students. While the teacher asserted that she did not receive any mandatory pre-observation conferences before any of her classroom observations, she has not established that the U-rating was made in violation of a lawful procedure or substantial right

The teacher also alleged that she was never provided a curriculum or a professional development plan, that the school's administration did not help her manage the class's continued disciplinary problems and that no member of the administration modeled lesson plans for her. However, said the court, the record established that she had received professional support and that she had not sufficiently progressed during the year.

As examples, the Appellate Divisions noted that the teacher had been observed in the classroom three times and had received unsatisfactory ratings for the last two observations. Further, each observation was followed a report indicating areas for improvement and which set out specific recommendations for addressing observed the deficiencies.

Another factor considered by the court: the record indicated that the teacher was provided with professional development sessions after receiving her first unsatisfactory report but the same instructional deficiencies continued to appear in the next observation report, indicating that the teacher “had not implemented the recommendations for improvement.”


Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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