Writing Your Letter to the Superintendent Appealing Your Discontinuance

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13 Comments

  1. Come now!! Do you really think this particular article is going to help any teacher really get their job back? When a superintendant makes up her mind to fire a teacher thats it. I have yet to hear of one case where a letter made the difference. I for one wrote an outstanding letter, clearly describing my effective EOY ratings and test scores, not to mention the scores of contributions I had made to the school, including Donors Choose work and outside workshops that I had participated in. Today I got nothing more than a formal slap in the face confirming my discontinuance with not even an acknowledgement of what I had done to help the school. Whoever wrote this article is obviously a tenured teacher living in la-la land.

    • Cesar PARIS YARLEQUE

      I agree with you, once they have decided to discontinue a teacher, there is nothing that can be done to convince the superintendent otherwise. The best solution to avoid it, is just to come prepared to teach and be a good teacher. If a teacher is given a hard a time at work for no reason, or discrimination he or she should report it immediately. Do not allow under any circumstances an administrator to treat you unfairly when you are performing your job exemplary. Some principals are prejudiced and discriminate teachers, they have personal issues and are unhappy, so, once again, my advice to the teachers, please report any abuse because if you do not, the administrators will tread on you.

    • I agree 100% teachers do not defend yourself but get on the offensive it is scam and they are crooks and criminals that need to be told so

  2. From my experience the Superintendent will never even read the letter. Once you get the 30 day notice its over. The DOE appeal is an even bigger joke. The same Superintendent that discontinued you will just reaffirm his decision.

    • Member Support for UFT Solidarity

      Dan,

      Yes, you are unfortunately correct. At DTOE, we cannot hope to change the corrupt status quo of the DOE unless we make changes to reform the leadership of the UFT. Once we have a union that works for the teachers again, then we will start to see these discontinuances become a thing of the past.

      What do you propose we do? Simply tell members who email us, “Oh sorry, we cannot help you?” At Member Support, we are honest with the teachers who come to use for help. The very least that we can do is try to help them stay calm and walk them through what to expect when they are discontinued.

  3. Member Support for UFT Solidarity

    Rachel,

    We do have one known instance in which the superintendent did not discontinue an untenured teacher. While most discontinuances do not get overturned via the UFT or DOE, if the teacher chooses to file an Article 78 or Ed Law 310 appeal, having an eloquent letter to the superintendent can serve as a basis for a well-crafted appeal to NYS Civil Supreme Court.

    There are teachers who have settled with the DOE through an Article 78, 310 appeal, or PERB complaint. In this article, can you find me any mention that this letter will “help any teacher really get their job back.” Those of us who were discontinued know that we are in the majority of the lost cases. The system is corrupt and capricious. Unless we change things in the UFT leadership, NOTHING will change and the status quo will continue.

    Since you say that you have “an outstanding letter,” would you mind emailing it to a representative to Member Support so we can use your letter as a template to help members who are considering suing the DOE to get reinstated?

    • I feel a little uncomfortable emailing what could be a future legal doc to be viewed by the public as you may understand. Please note that I kept the letter to one page, and devotedtwo large paragraphs pitching both my academic accomplishments with the students and school cmty accomplishments. I also discussed in a brief paragraph how much working with the kids from this district meant to me. Not that it matters. If the principal wants to write me off as a failure, his is the only opinion that will matter

  4. Dedicated Teacher

    Rachel,

    I believe I heard that all court documents are public documents…anyone can search it, with the exception if matrimonial cases. If you want to keep your information private, you might not want to file any court cases or consider settling.

    To Member Support:
    Members have to be persistent to get support from Doe UFT. It’s a shame and I agree that we probably need better leaders. I have met both good union reps and “bad” ones. You know a bad rep when they tell you not to file complaints or be quiet when your rights are being violated.

  5. I don’t teach in the school system but have a relative impacted by this current state of affairs. Her sad story is that her principal did not participate, wants to keep her, she has an effective rating and is still getting discontinued! I suggest a class action lawsuit, period.

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