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May 16, 2017

Tenured teacher unwilling to improve her pedagogical skills despite being provided with substantial assistance terminated from her position



Tenured teacher unwilling to improve her pedagogical skills despite being provided with substantial assistance terminated from her position
Broad v New York City Bd./Dept. of Educ., 2017 NY Slip Op 03691, Appellate Division, First Department

Supreme Court granted a New York City tenured teacher's [Teacher] CPLR Article 75 petition to set aside a determination of an arbitrator that sustained numerous disciplinary charges and specifications filed against her and terminating her employment as a tenured teacher.

The New York City Board/Department of Education appealed and the Appellate Division   unanimously reversed the lower court's ruling "on the law" and reinstated the arbitrator's decision.

The Appellate Division ruled that the arbitrator's decision had a rational basis and was supported by adequate evidence. The court said that he arbitrator reasonably determined that Teacher's performance had been deficient for two years based on the observations and ratings of the school principal and two assistant principals.

Although some of the charges and specifications were not significant, the Appellate Division noted that "the record reflects that petitioner was provided with substantial assistance over a two-year time period to improve her pedagogical skills, but she was unwilling to improve her performance."

As to the penalty imposed by the arbitrator, termination from employment, the court said that the penalty "does not shock our sense of fairness," citing Russo v NYC Dept of Education, 25 NY3d 946.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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