Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Azi Paybarah, WNYC political reporter and author of The Empire blog, discusses a possible Bloomberg-Cuomo face-off over teachers, property taxes and more.
You wanted case law?
The United States Supreme Court case of Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill is the leading case involving the question of what process is due under the Constitution. This case provides that a tenured teacher must be given oral or written notice of the dismissal and the charges against him or her, an explanation of the evidence obtained by the employer, and an opportunity for a fair and meaningful hearing.
Try this one:
Tenure and Dismissal of TeachersTenure
Most states protect teachers in public schools from arbitrary dismissal through tenure statutes. (Even if they don't like the way you part your hair)
Due Process Rights of Teachers
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, like its counterpart in the Fifth Amendment, provides that no state may "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This clause applies to public school districts and provides the minimum procedural requirements that each public school district must satisfy when dismissing a teacher who has attained tenure.
"....a teacher who has attained tenure."
I stand by the statement that started this multi-day argument
Re: the Feb 1 10:25, you don't need to be sorry, I don't feel insulted because I don't really have anything invested in what you think of me. I just think the name calling makes you look bad and weakens your arguments. Makes me wonder why all the heat. Makes me think you're invested in some kind of outcome in this exchange.
I'm just having fun. ;-)
Isn't this fun? I wonder how long the BL moderator will allow us to keep this up.
From the CT document:
Nontenured teachers have many of the same termination rights as tenured teachers. But they can also be dismissed by simple nonrenewal of their contracts, if they are notified by April 1. If a teacher files a written request, the board must supplement the nonrenewal notice with a written statement of its reasons for nonrenewal within seven days of receiving the request.
Unlike tenured teachers, nontenured teachers cannot appeal board decisions to Superior Court unless the dismissal is for moral misconduct or disability.
But of course a supervisor will avoid making that charge if in fact, he/she does not like the way the teacher parts his/her hair. Good way to get rid of a teacher.
Why are you giving me a Connecticut link?
No person enjoying the benefits of tenure shall be disciplined or removed during a term of employment except for just cause and in accordance with the procedures specified in section three thousand twenty-a of this article or in accordance with alternate disciplinary procedures contained in a collective bargaining agreement covering his or her terms and conditions of employment
"just cause an in accordance with the procedures..." = due process. Yayy!!
Mr Bad we were talking about "due process." you sent something with "dismissal" process. Not the same thing at all.
@ mc from Brooklyn
"The same word is used and that's what I am talking about."
Do you realize what a simpleton you are?
As for this:
"your quote regarding dismissal of non-tenured teachers says "dismissal process" not "due process." Not convincing."
I searched your other posts and most seem credible, this may be the first case I've experienced of subconscious trolling but this is getting boring, take it easy.
I will take a look at those links when I get to a machine that can cut and paste. I look forward to it. So far though you have been dodging and weaving, trying to frame my argument in your little box by saying I made claims that I did not, in fact make.
I shall see if that pattern is holding after looking at the links.
I'm having a ball. I'm sorry this seems to anger you to the point where you resort to name calling.
Mr. Bad: I never made the claim that NYS law has any jurisdiction over the tenure of symphony musicians. That's you moving the goal post again. The same word is used and that's what I am talking about. As far as NYS law governing pulic employees' tenure, well duh. The state is the employer. Not arguing that either.
Mr Bad: I notice your quote regarding dismissal of non-tenured teachers says "dismissal process" not "due process." Not convincing.
@ mc from Brooklyn
Don't forget, you wrote this:
Do you realize "getting rid of tenure"means getting rid of due process? Any employee anywhere without due process can be fired because his/her manager does not like the way his/her hair is parted.
Yes, I am going round and round, logic and clear arguments make no impression on you! Would've thought you'd "get it" by now. But I've thought about it and for the sake of posterity it will be fun to expose you for the fraud you are. So here we go:
First of all, regarding "symphony orchestra tenure", there are no state laws governing it or protecting it, you, as usual, completely misunderstand what tenure is due to your blind longing to be "right". That's just pride. Here is a link to the NYS LAW that governs teacher tenure:
Where pray tell is the NYS LAW that governs symphony orchestra Tenure? Link to it, paste it or paraphrase it or just be quiet. Oh, it doesn't exist? Too bad. The "tenure" then is merely part of the contract and subject to contract law and renegotiation, whereas teacher tenure is protected by law which is the whole point of the Tenure debate, but I don't expect you to follow that.
Here is a link to the UFT website where all contracts are archived in .pdf format:
This is so you can know what you're talking about, for a change.
Here is a link to a CT OLR article (office of legislative research)
that defines what due process is for people just like you, very simple and (hopefully) understandable, this is a quote from the web page which should help:
DISMISSAL PROCESS FOR NONTENURED TEACHERS
NONTENURED teachers have many of the same termination rights as tenured teachers. But they can also be dismissed by simple nonrenewal of their contracts, if they are notified by April 1. If a teacher files a written request, the board must supplement the nonrenewal notice with a written statement of its reasons for nonrenewal within seven days of receiving the request...
And it goes on - that is "DUE PROCESS" as defined by law, if you don't like it, tough, but that's it.
Finally, here is a link to a paper put out by the USDOE entitled "Due Process for Non Tenured Teachers." Yes, that's right, it EXISTS and the USDOE even wrote a paper on it, luckily for you.
So I guess that eliminating tenure does not, after all, mean "getting rid of due process" since it exists for teachers, tenured or not. Duh?
Mr. Bad: my new best friend. I have no desire to edit or amend those words, indeed I stand by them. A teacher can be summarily fired without cause or due process for any reason if he/she does not have tenure.
Symphony orchestra members can achieve tenure per their collective bargaining agreements.
You have been thundering on for some time about how you don't think I understand tenure. Would you care to take a crack at it?
This should be amusing. You are going around and around the same circle. Not convincing.
@ mc from Brooklyn
"Yes, I see the quote. Getting rid of tenure is the same as getting rid of due process. Cutting the electricity is the same as turning off the lights for the people sitting in the dark."
No, you see but you don't understand. Your analogy makes no sense, it's just an attempt to obfuscate the matter because you can't use precise language or detail.
Also, you've never answered any Tenure questions, what other occupations besides educators have tenure law to protect them, name one?
"Due Process" in a collective bargaining agreement is the same as due process under the 14th, collective bargaining agreements for both public and private employees are modeled on the protections given to Public Employees BUT IT CAN ALSO INCLUDE MORE, such as tenure, which is state law. If the NYS teacher contract is renegotiated to exclude tenure protections than due process has not been lost, cannot be lost, TENURE protections will simply be removed, NOT THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS guaranteed to public employees both under the 14th and under their contract.
Stop trying to make it seem like you knew what you we're talking about in the first place, you made a broad, inflammatory statement in order to deliberately mischaracterize the debate andmisinform, you got called out, you're probably feeling silly, but this is what you said:
"Do you realize "getting rid of tenure"means getting rid of due process?"
You can't erase it, You can't edit or amend it, all of your successive "adjustments" to your argument just illustrate how ignorant you are of the whole topic.
I've already answered the tenure question. The fact that you seem to think it only applies to teachers shows your lack of understanding of it.
Mr. Bad:I see you just can't resist me :-)
I am saying exactly that about teachers. Without tenure they do not get "due process" as specified in the contract. I am not talking about "due process" under the 14th Amendment, no one has a Constitutional right to a job. I am talking about "due process" in a collective bargaining agreement. You did concede that it shows up in bargaining agreements, I cannot control your lack of understanding of it.
Yes, I see the quote. Getting rid of tenure is the same as getting rid of due process. Cutting the electricity is the same as turning off the lights for the people sitting in the dark.
Your lack of civility makes it look like you think you are losing the argument.
Furthermore, do you realize that is is IMPOSSIBLE to "get rid of" due process protections for public employees without a constitutional amendment? Do you even know what "tenure" is? What law governs it? Exactly what is it you think you DO know?
Why don't you go find something irrelevant to copy/paste into the comment field, that should clear things up ...
No, you're really just a stupid troll and I'm calling you out for it. You're original comment was, direct quote and on the bottom of this page:
mc from Brooklyn
@RBC: Do you realize "getting rid of tenure"means getting rid of due process? Any employee anywhere without due process can be fired because his/her manager does not like the way his/her hair is parted.
That is the quote, you are plainly wrong and stupid at the same time, a doubly aggravating situation for everyone else.I never conceded any of you points, I was trying to explain to you how you misunderstood everything but you still don't get it. Let me ask you this, if eliminating tenure means the end of due process then how can public employees have due process (which they are guaranteed by law/14th amendment) WITHOUT tenure? Are you saying every employee is tenured? Do you see now how stupid you are - sorry if you feel insulted but it is a tad infuriating. OK, go ahead, you can get the last word in now, hurrrr durrrr.
Awww, Mr Bad, you missed me.
I'm sorry you don't seem to be able to have a debate without belittling your debate partner. You spent a lot of space arguing that there could only be one use of a phrase that appears in the 14th Amendment and in many collective bargaining agreements. Then after conceding my point you tried to move the goal posts by saying that I called "tenure" and "due process" synonymous. I did not. I said if you remove one it's the same as removing the other just as cutting electricity causes the lights to go out.
Have a lovely evening.
You're A MORON.
Mr. Badbut it's still true, no matter how many times i say it. glad to hear you are a fan!
Guess you should learn to multi-task ;-)
Mr. Bad: Before a teacher receives tenure per the collective bargaining agreement, usually after three years, he or she can be summarily fired for any reason whatsoever. I don't believe you ever stated specifically that you were talking about public employee rights under state law, however, the above is a fact. In the private sector any employee is "at will" unless he or she has an individual or a collective bargaining agreement. You were the one who brought the 14th Amendment into the argument. The words in the contracts are the words and they are "tenure" and "due process." I never said they are synonymous, I only said that without tenure a teacher does not get "due process" per the agreement.
Good luck catching up on your work. Good thing you have tenure maybe? Lol!
And what ...? Yes, it shows up in collective bargaining agreements, I've already explained that, also, all public employees have a right to it as defined by the 14th and case law. What is your point? MY POINT was that you do not understand what due process is, and you clearly don't, also that eliminating tenure does not abrogate due process and that the two are not synonymous, and they clearly aren't. Why I wasted my time being trolled by someone who posted a Merriam Webster definition as a standalone repudiation of a comment I made is a question I will be asking myself as I try and catch up on the work I missed writing this stuff!
LOL Good luck to you mc, in the end you schooled me after all. Well played sir.
Mr Bad: I lifted this from contract agreement language. You are right that the original phrase comes the 14th amendment, however, many collective bargaining agreements use the same language when referring to employees' protection from summary termination. Tenure is not only for teachers, it is something that appears in a number of collective bargaining agreements.
I do not know what you mean by "your contract" I do not work under the UFT agreement and I do not have a contract with you (thankfully). I could make the same crack about hoping you are not a teacher but I will refrain. See below.
The following letter was sent to Dennis O'Leary, MD, president of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) on July 19, 1999. In it, AAEM president Robert McNamara, MD FAAEM, argues persuasively on behalf of the AAEM Board of Directors, urging the JCAHO to include in its review activities the examination of all contracts which relate to services provided by emergency physicians.
"An employee whose services are terminated by this CMO shall be entitled to due process protection afforded members of the medical staff as set forth in the bylaws. However, employee agrees to resign his medical staff membership and clinical privileges and waive any and all hearing and appellate review rights afforded under the medical staff bylaws if his agreement with this CMO is terminated for any reason."
To make it simpler, "tenure" is defined with respect to due process, but due process exists with or without it. A union collective bargaining agreement usually includes elements of the due process clause (i.e. neutral arbitrator, firing only for cause, etc.) but that is not, obviously, tenure. Tenure is specifically for teachers, but not for long, hopefully.
I'm wondering how many of the teachers whose jobs are at risk gave the mayor their support when he purchased his third term in office?
Yes, I know, let me explain further:
Due process is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, it cannot be "ended" ever short of another constitutional amendment so it goes a little farther than just criminal law. With me so far? Your teaching contract, however it is changed, cannot be in violation of your constitutional rights. Ending tenure is not a violation of your substantive or procedural due process rights, it is a CHANGE IN THE TYPE/FORM OF REMEDIES/HEARINGS/ADJUDICATION AVAILABLE TO YOU if you are fired. The State is has the final say on tenure, whether it exists, and/or how to implement it according to the SCOTUS. Disagree? Cite your case law.
For the kids' sake I hope you're not a teacher!
Mr. Bad: am I detecting gloating? Perhaps not. A contract employee with "those attendant rights" would include a member of a bargaining unit.
@ Mr. Bad: Sorry, wrong again. "Due process" is boilerplate language in almost every collective bargaining agreement. It may reflect what you refer to in terms of criminal law, but what it actually refers to is protection from summary dismissal.
Glutton for punishment or public high school grad? LOL. But seriously you said:
You wrote that tenure and due process are functionally equivalent, I believe, it's hard to understand what you mean at all but that's a good guess. Your definition for "Tenure" is correct, this is the definition of "due process":
"Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law."
Do you understand the difference now? If the "Law" is amended to eliminate "tenure" your rights to "due process" are not affected at all, the law has merely changed. You would be either an "at will" or "contract" employee with those attendant rights.
Good try though. Keep at it. Good choice of dictionary.
My limited experience as a parent of a middle schooler tells me to avoid new teachers. Maybe it's just that our principal does not hire well but our new teachers don't "teach" —they depend on books, aids and humiliation. The common factor for the new teachers is that they give students demerits for asking too many questions.
Many, many parents of student's in these classes agree yet the teachers, in their second and third year, do not change and the principal has said she is unable to replace them.
My question for all is who do you think should make the decision in what teachers to fire? If the employer makes the wrong choice in the hire do you trust them with the fire? Do you leave it to school politics, city politics, or state politics?
@ Mr. Bad: Sorry, you are mistaken. Merriam-Webster definition of tenure:
1. the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (as a landed property, a position, or an office); especially : a status granted after a trial period to a teacher that gives protection from summary dismissal.
I like Brian as a talk show host very much, and I firmly believe that he is probably the best currently broadcasting. But after listening to him for more than 10 years there is one topic where he looses his objectivity and allows anger to tinge his voice. That topic is public school teachers. I really wish that he could maintain his calm, cool objectivity about this exceedingly important issue as he does about every other one I have heard discussed on his show. As noted, he is only this morning realizing that the issue here is money! His bias against public school teachers has clouded his vision.
The "great lie" is that a new teacher fresh out of a typically inadequate college teacher training course is better than a senior teacher because the new person costs less. As of 2009 30% of new teachers leave teaching after 3 years and 45% of new teachers leave after 5 years. The most frequently cited reason for leaving is dissatisfaction with administrative support (38%) or workplace conditions (32%). Inner city school systems like NYC are among the worst, most frustrating places to work. Administrators with their eyes on politics or teaching careers in colleges...many times after teaching only the minimum time necessary to get the administrators license and get out of the classroom...parade one fad after another that they sell first to the politicians and then foist on the teachers with little or no input from the people charged with implementing the newest methods and buzzwords.
I was shocked that we didn't hear from a single caller that supported removing the last-in-first-out rule.
One caller said he was tired of people "blaming teachers" for our problems in education. That's really not what's being discussed. We need to stop making blanket statements, and acknowledge that some teachers with seniority are good, and some are not.
If all experienced teachers are good, then why are we failing our children over and over and over? You'd think if they were all so great, we'd see a different outcome.
And if I hear one more person insinuate that poor academic achievement is somehow the fault of poor, black children and their families, I'm going to actually vomit.
I'm bothered by the blanket characterizations in the idea that "younger teachers are willing to try new things." 1st, it equates "new" (<5 years) w/"young," & especially now, w/the Teach for America program, many new teachers aren't that young. 2nd, who says older teachers aren't willing to try new things? 3rd, not every "new thing" is a good thing; we need teachers of whatever age to be able to evaluate whether any given new thing is good or bad.
Mayor Bloomberg can do anything that comes to mind, it is mainly not human, not for people, to him people are just numbers. it is Wall Street mentality among our teachers; Do we need it? Do we want our children to grow and act like sharks from Wall Street as described in the recent movies ...like Bloomberg? a "know everything" billionaire who does not care for well being of people ...does NY need someone like him??? where is this going; If budget is being slashed the easiest is to lay off, anyone can lay off; keeping and motivating people is the key; Bloomberg as many times before does not offer wise solutions ...he should leave; Media need to be more candid with the public instead of talking about "significant increase in spending of less than one percent" ...I wonder where is this going. Brian we need something more and better than dust in our eyes.
Is that the limit of your writing skills and opinions on this topic? Seriously, you guys want to laugh, search for "hjs11211" on the site, he cut/pastes the same dopey comment every time this topic comes up LOL.
Tenure, as Churchill said of democracy, is the worst way to organize the school work force except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Without tenure, teachers are at the mercy of the the city politicians and the capriciousness of the principal. NYC is the only school system in the US that charges the school budget for teachers salaries. This was done in order to force principals to do whatever is necessary to push out senior teachers in order to save money. If Money is the problem, negotiate about money and offer some kind of concession in return!
Bloomberg has one very strong point -- when asked, the teacher's union will NEVER offer any method of grading teachers besides seniority.
Their leader was even asked this on Brian's show and had no response -- he just skirted the question.
I do not support what the city has done to rate teachers by exams, releasing nonsense teacher ratings, etc.
But at some point the teachers need to acknowledge the great lie that every teacher who has worked for sixteen years is superior to every teacher that has worked for twelve years; that every teacher who has worked for twelve years is superior to every teacher that has worked for eight years, etc.
It is a lie and no serious organization can function without grading its employees like this.
...what teachers DO (and are due)...
my son's teacher last year was an older teacher who had obviously burnt out. her teaching style boarded on abuse and her excuse in conferences was "I'm too old for this". when you have a teacher who is extremely close to their awesome pension, why would they quit and who would fire them?
What the mayor conveniently forgets is that the majority of teachers leave the system before they are even eligible for tenure. Gee, I wonder why? Things that make you go hmmm.
Gee, Brian, you just figured out this is all about money? How's the weather on Mars?
Why don't we cut the budget for everything else, instead of schools? If, pardon the cliche, "children are the future", and we are trying to invest in our future, why don't we cut funding for services for the elderly, why don't we cut the budget for the police department? I see hundreds of police every day and most of them are just standing around. Why not lay off some of them?
The rhetoric Bloomberg/Klein/Black use about and against teachers is the exact definition of demagoguery.
A few years back the NYPD cut the starting salary for cops. The drop of the quality of new applicants spoke for itself. The salary was quickly raised
Yes, Bloomberg wants to use the great American Corporate model for education. That model has results in cronyism and corruption.Thank You CEO of NYC Bloomberg.
REALLY, leave veteran teachers alone. Any teacher who survived the crack era, for instance, probably needs to be left alone. Perhaps longevity, under certain conditions, is a qualifier...Feel strongly that any changes -- which are needed -- should begin with proper regard (understanding AND respect) for exactly what teachers due and how vital they are.
No. It's not the end of "due process", you don't understand the phrase, obviously.
Also, so what if it's about MONEY ... who doesn't take money into account IN EVERY DECISION THEY MAKE IN THEIR DAILY LIFE, even with regard to the people we love - much less the people we employ out our tax funds! Public education sucks - NEWSFLASH - SUCKS. It can't possibly get worse, if it gets worse and cheaper than that is an improvement but that is just sarcasm, truly public sector unions are destroying public finances and our no better than a private sector solution would be - prove me wrong.
I find it very hypocritical that Bloomberg is finding ways to fire teachers, yet the newest Chancellor of schools doesn't have the qualifications to be a teacher.
Being "laid off" is not being "fired"???
It may not be for cause, but it is still a firing!
There's no guarantee on when the jobs may "reappear."
If there are so many "bad teachers" with years of experience, why aren't they being fired for cause? Don't say tenure -- if someone is actually incompetent tenure won't protect them. Outside of college -- where tenure is really tenure -- I never had a highly experienced teacher who was bad or skating by. I have however had bad teachers who were brand new.
@RBC: Do you realize "getting rid of tenure"means getting rid of due process? Any employee anywhere without due process can be fired because his/her manager does not like the way his/her hair is parted.
Bloomberg is always crying wolf, cutting visible, necessary staff (see firefighters as well as teachers), while paying millions (and even hundreds of millions) on corrupt contracts like Pay Time. Bloomberg should resign and go back to Bermuda, where he can find shelter from the storm. He is an embarrassment and a joke.
There is no way tenure can be defended. It is a ridiculous, out-moded system which seems to apply only to teachers. Why should the last in be the first out, if they bring enthusiasm and ability to the profession?
Why won't Bloomberg let senior teachers take early retirement instead!? The rest of the state is doing that...
I like how conjecture is becoming fact. Just because the teachers have seniority, doesn't mean they're "dead weight." And Bloomberg, since he's a money man, and views everything through the prism of expenses, could just be looking at younger teachers as cheap labor. Okay, it would make sense that younger could equal "more energized," but it could also mean "less experienced" and "may be doing something else next year."
I agree that the tenure system should be eliminated, but this attitude that younger teachers are better than older teachers is just ridiculous. There are just as many young bad teachers as there are older bad teachers. I am a product of the NYC public schools and I got a great educational experience because I was taught by a mix of good young and older teachers.
Stop the nonsense talk about "QUALITY"! the only thing the mayor and his new lackey, "Chancellor" Black are interested in is the salary the teacher is making. He wants to force the long term teachers out because the contracts that he and his predecessors have agreed to gave city teachers roughly equivalent pay to their colleagues in the suburbs. The money is the only thing they are interested in, otherwise they would be negotiating a real solution.
As usual, the mayor has no interest in education, he just doesn't want to pay teachers. Teacher quality doesn't matter, class size doesn't matter, student achievement doesn't matter - he just wants to slash the education budget at any cost.
How much money does the mayor plan to save by firing teachers closer to retirement so as not to pay pensions.
I am neither a teacher nor a union member, but it is transparently clear that Bully Bloomberg wants to trash the teachers union in order to fire more experienced (read, more expensive) teachers. There is no reliable, validated measure of teacher quality. Principals and the school administration have a vested interest in using the cheapest labor they can get (I'm sure they are gnashing their teeth that they can't outsource our kids' education to China). And this doesn't even address the possibility of personal vendettas in who gets fired. We have civil service laws for a reason--look back at what the patronage system wrought in the past.
Bravo Mr. Bloomberg... Time to get rid of dead weight.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
BL Weekend: Learning To Drive; Gentrifying Thrift; Senator Gillibrand
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.