Probationary/Nontenured Teachers Threatened with Discontinuance DO NOT RESIGN. THEY’RE BLUFFING!

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51 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Puscasu

    My observations were conducted on the following dates: May 13, May 15, May 16, May 19 and May 20, plus one conducted on March 30. I only received 3 feedbacks for all 13 observations. At the Summative Conference on June 16 I was handed a rating of Ineffective even though my students showed steady growth according to the Benchmark Assessment, Periodic Assessment and MOSL, plus I have a Valedictorian, new ESL student and one Salutatorian also an ESL student.

    On June 19, I filed a grievance with Kathy Sharko my union Representative. Copies of all documents were submitted and I was advised to wait for an answer from the Principal, J. Rosado. She was to get in touch with Lillian Druck the Superintendent.

    Today I received this letter from the superintendent it states verbatim:

    “This is to inform you that on July 28, 2014, I will review and consider whether your services as a probationer be discontinued as of the close of business July 28, 2014. My consideration of your discontinuance is based on the reasons included in attached documentation and such documents constitute a written statement of the reasons for my consideration of your discontinuance. You may submit a written response to the reasons no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of my consideration and final determinance of your Discontinuance.” end of letter.

    I underlined in bold attached documentation, because there was no such documentation included with this letter!

    • I received a similar letter and in replying to the documents and providing factual evidence that both my principal and assistant principal made up 3 observations especially one in May which was is timed wrong and in which he spent most of the time on the phone responding to text messages. Three days later I received a letter from the superintendent and I have been discontinued… unfortunately they can discontinue you for anything and everything… even made up observations… the DOE and UFT have left sour taste in my mouth, I have been told that certain things can’t happen and they happened to me. Even the appeals process has turned into a huge confusing mess.

      Ontop of that my assistant principal during Regents week told me he lost ALL my paper work, he was unsure what happened… and asked me to sign and post date everything since this was for his records. I asked him If i could talk to my UFT Rep and look through the paper work back in my classroom. I was told i was being unprofessional and that for that kind of lack of professionalism I could be discontinued… ( GO FIGURE I WAS ANYWAYS). So I signed under duress, but the superintendent didn’t care about anything she had her decision made up before I sent her anything.

      • I find the Superintendents more incompetent than the Principals…

        • If you’re being threatened with discontinuance but haven’t been given a letter yet go to you superintendent because the letter is going to come from them. Tell them “hey I’m ready to fight this.”

          • I was given a final notice for a discontinuance. I was devastated.
            I’m a first year music teacher who was working in 2 different schools. One semester in each school. I was assigned a mentor in the first semester around November after the principal filed letters in my file because of “negligence. I was also able to attend several DOE PD’s. I left the first school with the Principal being happy with me and inviting me back to the school in the fall. The second school I wasn’t given much coaching. The school was a different learning culture. Both schools were title 1 schools. on July 15th I was told my principal that I will be discontinued. My heart sank. I’m currently looking for a job. I’ve had one interview from a principal from a DOE school. I was honest with him about my discontinuance. He asked me questions. He allowed me to explain myself. If I have learned anything from this experience. I saw a little hope.
            question when you are given a date of when your position is terminated do you still receive back pay. for example I am still waiting for my summer pay, Am I still entitled to it?

      • Yes, identical here.

    • Dedicated Teacher

      my principal told me she was going to dismiss me. I got the a similar letter you mentioned above from the superintendent

    • Kathy Sharko SUCKS! she is friends with all of the Principals in District 32 this is why they do whatever they want with staff, students and families.

  2. I received the exact same letter from my superintendent with nothing attached, but I received a copy of my file from the principal’s secretary (noting there is nothing negative in the five years I have been at the school). I am currently writing a response to the superintendent which I hope is read and taken into consideration to grant me tenure; which I have been patiently waiting for and had relied on others to professionally recommend. But let’s get real based upon the above article it seems like NYCDOE wants to save a lot of money in exchange from a student being able to return to their old school years later to visit a teacher who may have had an impact on their life.

  3. Alternative Science Teacher

    I just finished my first year of teaching in NYC.

    I was forced to resign by my principal at the end of the school year. She brought me into a room and explained to me that if I did not tender my resignation by the next day she would fire me and I would never be able to work in New York again! My final rating at the summative conference was DEVELOPING. I never once disagreed with her methods or had any problems between me and her. I did whatever was asked of me and never once missed a deadline.

    I was terrified and so I immediately talked to the UFT who were of course no help. They told me that probationary teachers have no due process rights so that even though I have no letters on my file, no insubordination issues with my principal and that I have a DEVELOPING rating that she could fire me without cause. I tried and tried to find a way around it but I sent in my resignation letter dated 09/02/2014 (beginning of next school year).

    Now that I am trying to find a job I call a million numbers before I find someone to figure out what I can do. Finally I dial a number for NYC DOE Regional Field OFfices and a lady tells me that I am labelled as CPD, known as Continued Probationary Discontinuance, which says that I QUIT! The Network basically took my resignation letter and changed it into a “I QUIT”.

    What would have happened if I didn’t resign?

    • Ok, act carefully and document everything. Rescind your resignation and do so by copying administration and network as well as superintendent. You have no investigations, but you probably will as that’s what the DOE does. State you were forced to retire and were pressured.

      • Alternative Science Teacher

        Thanks. It’s a little unclear (as most DOE things are) but are you saying fill out the withdrawal of resignation form or to email it and copy the administration, network, and superintendent.

        • Fill it out, but scan and email it. Emails document time and date as well as show who else you sent it to.

          • Hello, I went through exactly the samething that everybody else are stating above. My situation is bad. I had the hearing and everything the principal stated about me did not change. Her charges still stand. Also, DOE is preventing me from get another job. What do I do?

  4. If it has been less than 4 months since the decision consider getting a lawyer and going to state arbitration. Sometimes I wonder if tenure is a good or bad thing. As a non-tenured teacher on probation we are always told that we do not have rights to our job even though under state law as long as you are doing your job and maintaining professionalism you have every right to your job, as long as the position is there. Teachers seem to be in a different group when it comes to labor laws even though it requires a Masters level of educational work.
    I take my work and students seriously and should not have to be put on the defense of questioning an administrators reports in Danielson of Low Inference Evidence (LIE).

    • Don’t feel bad as a tenured teacher we still have no rights if principal wants to fire you. UFT doesn’t help you and does nothing for us. After two ineffectives we can be fired now. It has changed since I started 15 years ago.

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  8. I was discontinued after 6 mo in a title one school in NYC. After 2 sucessful years in MD. I had 2 job offers/ dont ever take a job in a failing school the adminstrators are more concerned with maintaining there hugh salaries then developing teachers and students

    • Wait… have you had 2 job offers SINCE being discontinued? I am in the process of attempting to complete a year at a school where I’m being threatened with discontinuance. I am a very new teacher, like alternative program didn’t go to school for education teacher. But, regardless I am being threatened by this. I am being told multiple things from my union reps like being discontinued only means you cannot work at the school or in that particular district anymore. Other people are telling me that discontinuance means my career is over before it has started. I need clarification. I figure maybe I can find elsewhere beforehand. HELPPP!

      • Yes It took me 6 months but because I am dual certified SPED and Science it is easier I am working in a Psych hospital

  9. Where's the hero?

    @ A, if you’re discontinued, you’re done, finished, caput in the NYC DOE. You can file for an appeals hearing. You cannot work in another NYCDOE school or vendor because you will be problem coded. It sucks, the educators (principals, teachers and support staff) that need to be fired are by great lengths protected.

  10. I was discontinued by my Superintendent Manuel Ramirez. I had a meeting with him prior to him making his final deciscion. He had know idea who I was or why he was discontinuing me. He told me I would hear from him at the end of the year, he discontinued me the following week. Go on the offensive file a notice of claim as soon as you get the thirty day notice.

  11. Torii Bottomley

    Principals can only get away with what the Superintendents condone. I too thought that in writing the Super and Assistant Supers that I would get action. Instead, it put me on the fast track to be bullied out. However, now I have evidence that I did make them aware of what was going on and they are therefore complicit. The respond to allegations is just to make you crazier and give you more to handle. You respond to all with ONE SENTENCE- The allegations are false and the accusations are out of context and misconstrued.

  12. Hi I’m in the same predicament as everyone, my Principal and AP called me into her office to lmk that she would be recommending me with a discontinuance and that I should look on the open market and that I should get my UFT rep to help me with that on my own time. My UFT rep was right there, and she asked why. All this after I was accused of being “not a good fit for the school community overall”. Although it is know that I’ve immersed myself in the school culture. I also have effective and highly effective teacher informals and formals. Earlier last year, I was being harassed by my AP. My principal kept asking me why I wasn’t happy, and we talked. After that nothing changed, except that I heard the AP talking negatively about me creating a prejudice against me. I could not get simple things like copy requests completed. Help with SWD’s and ED students went unanswered, and a problematic student was thrown into my class by the AP, without being put on my roster or given a behavior plan for the student. I filed a complaint at OEO and it got back to my Principal. A month later she changed my immediate supervisor. But then the write ups started! Letters to my file left and right. Each time I notified the UFT rep. The stress of her harassment caused so much pain that I started having neck spasms. Now I need Physical therapy twice a week, and I wear a neck brace at work.

  13. My principal sent me an e-mail asked me to give her resignation letter today Jun 18 by 12pm. She only sent me the e-mail ask me to do so yesterday afternoon Jun 17.
    I just handed it in hoping that she would give me a normal resignation instead of resignation with pending discontinuance, but she said she can not guarantee that, but the resignation letter will buy me sometime to look for another job, because with the letter handed in the superintendent will not discontinue me until the end of August. My chapter leader is not much helpful because he is in the same situation as me. I tried to see Danna Manganello but she is not helpful neither.

    I have taught in DOE for 7 years. I have all “S” and “Effeictive” rating. I do not have tenure because my school has not given out tenure to any teachers for 4 years. I work in a title 1 failing school and now it is on the renewal status. This year my principal told me that the superintendent wants to discontinue all teachers who do not have tenure yet. There are a good numbers of teachers in my school are affected by this discussion, including my chapter leader.

  14. I find it so unbelievable that NYCDOE school leaders have a complete disregard of the investments its teachers have made into their careers. I do not find any of these allegations surprising. I too feel like I have been pressured into resigning. I once thought so highly of principals, but after this past year, I realize a dog should not be praised for aiming half way at a hydrant. In my opinion, any principal and ap who were granted their position during Bloomberg years do not favor teachers! I have been teaching for 12 years now and I have seen teachers being rated ineffective. We are loosing great teachers who need just a moment to grow. It takes 5 years to grow!

    • What is crazy is that this year my current principal after getting out of this situation and now feeling targeted by my administration for ” not being a fit for the community” was told in another meeting with my principal that if I had a developing at the year, it was no the worst thing. Of course, that was prior to his bad review from the Superintendent. Now, he has changed his tune and been saying so many things to so many teachers including myself. He pulled out the threat of the “D” word now and this is the second damn time an admin has taken their reviews or personal petty feelings out on me. I feel like because I am the only female black teacher in the school, the statements like, ” You come across as standoffish or not friendly to the kids.” MIND YOU never once have they asked my students if this was true. I have really been working on it. He kept saying I have made slow growth. But growth is still growth. And you saying it takes 5 years to grow is great because honestly I believe that you don’t just become an all-star teacher. I’m tired of the DOE, I’m taking myself to charter before I get out of teaching all together. This system breaks your spirit and they wonder why the public school system is so bad and the teacher retention rate is crap.

  15. I was given discontinuance due to allegations that I did not service my IEP students. However, no evidence was presented against me. I was told to resign so to avoid the discontinuance and I did ad told only to get discontinuance regardless. I am new to DOE (my 2nd yr) I was told by UFT not much they can do for me as I am not tenure. Does this mean my career as guidance counselor is over? I was told by UFT it would be very hard to find a job.

  16. I was given a final notice for a discontinuance. I was devastated.
    I’m a first year music teacher who was working in 2 different schools. One semester in each school. I was assigned a mentor in the first semester around November after the principal filed letters in my file because of “negligence. I was also able to attend several DOE PD’s. I left the first school with the Principal being happy with me and inviting me back to the school in the fall. The second school I wasn’t given much coaching. The school was a different learning culture. Both schools were title 1 schools. on July 15th I was told my principal that I will be discontinued. My heart sank. I’m currently looking for a job. I’ve had one interview from a principal from a DOE school. I was honest with him about my discontinuance. He asked me questions. He allowed me to explain myself. If I have learned anything from this experience. I saw a little hope.
    question when you are given a date of when your position is terminated do you still receive back pay. for example I am still waiting for my summer pay, Am I still entitled to it?

  17. When I was threatened with Discontinuance I found some sort of relieve of the daily harassment I was victim of by resigning from the school. Later, after most of my observations were conducted within two weeks without any form of feedback (The only thing I heard from administrators was put downs and threats) I was rated “Ineffective” even though by the state and local measures I ended up being rated EFFECTIVE. Finally, even though they made me resign, the principal also filed for my discontinuance, just in case I went against their advise to me of “reconsider my career choice”. The point is, once you’ve been targeted by the administrators and threats of discontinuance vs resignation start flying, you are doomed if you are not tenured. You are better of looking for work outside the DOE.

  18. has anyone on this Q&A that has been bullied by a supervisor and was ultimately discontinued fought back via the appeal process with any positive results ???

  19. Nontenured math teacher afraid of my Principle

    Too Funny but mostly because it is so sad.

    Fourth year teacher here,

    I’m probably going to get terminated, I’ve had lots of letters on my file and ineffective reviews (last year my Over all rating was 77)

    I’m applying outside of DOE, But there is still the chance that i could be given the opportunity to transfer (but I doubt it)

    Once you get on an administrator bad side your well and properly F@#ked

    My rep at my schools is in a similar situation (they are trying to fire him) and my UFT district rep IS realy dclose to the Principle.

    Of course I say all of this without any names because there could an will be retaliation .

    Maybe after i’m fired and come back, but then what will it do for me?

    High schools math teacher.

    Is there a bias against Latino at my school?

    Would be hard to believe

  20. I need help to reply superintendent’s discontinue letter. What should I write? Any samples? Thanks everyone!!

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