January 05, 2021

Plaintiff's annual performance rating appeal rejected due to the lack of evidence of the raters acting in bad faith or with animus

The New York City Department of Education of the City of New York [DOE] denied the educator's [Plaintiff] administrative appeal of a rating of ineffective on his Annual Professional Performance Review. Plaintiff filed a CPLR Article 78 petition appealing DOE's decision. Supreme Court dismissed the proceeding and Plaintiff appealed the Supreme Court's decision.

The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the Supreme Court's dismissal of Plaintiff's petition, explaining:

1. DOE's overall rating of Plaintiff as ineffective had a rational basis in the record; and

2. Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that DOE's determination was made in bad faith or in violation of a lawful procedure or a substantial right,

The records indicated DOE observed Plaintiff's performance on three separate occasions, which, opined the court, "provided a rational basis for its rating of [Plaintiff] on the Measures of Teacher Practice portion of her overall rating." 

Further, the Appellate Division noted that Plaintiff "did not demonstrate through competent proof that the "ineffective performance" rating resulted from "bad faith or animus" on the part of the raters, and that DOE's rating of Plaintiff had been based on an assessment of her students' growth compared to other similarly situated students according to criteria used by the school.

Click here to access the Appellate Division's decision

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