Posts tagged "annals of law"
June 22, 2012
All eyes might have been on the teacher evaluation shield bill this week, but that wasn’t the only education issue lawmakers tackled this spring. A host of other education bills traveled through both houses of the legislature in recent months, with varying success. Here’s a brief rundown of those bills and how they fared:
Senate, Assembly pave way for universal kindergarten in New York City
In New York City, more than 3,000 children — or 4 percent — of all five-year-olds are not enrolled in kindergarten. Expanding that service has become a pet issue for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other council members, but it first required a change to state law that would allow the city to revise age regulations. Currently, the city requires only that six-year-olds attend school.
The bill passed easily through the Assembly earlier this month, 141-1, and passed in the Senate Thursday just after 9 p.m. The passage doesn’t automatically enact universal kindergarten, however. To do that, city officials will have to agree to new age regulations. Mayor Bloomberg initially raised questions about the expansion’s cost — he estimated the additional enrollment could run $30 million a year — but the city Department of Education has since come out in support of the legislation.
The bill still needs a final signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in order to become a law. “We are reviewing the legislation,” said a Cuomo spokesman. (more…)
December 12, 2011
A teacher who received an unsatisfactory rating at the Bronx High School of Science will have that rating removed from his record after a judge ruled that it was assigned unfairly.
Peter Lamphere had gone to court to appeal an unsatisfactory rating he received when he was the union chapter leader at Bronx Science, where there are deep tensions between administrators and teachers.
Lamphere and other teachers said they had been targeted after speaking out against administrative policies. In February, Lamphere described his experience in the Community section:
In the fall of 2007, the math department welcomed a new assistant principal, Rosemarie Jahoda. Soon, however, we found that the newer teachers in the department were being subjected to a level of scrutiny and paperwork that was excessive. As soon as I spoke up about the issue, which was my responsibility as a member of a UFT consultation committee that met with the principal, I immediately began receiving unjustified disciplinary letters. These were quickly followed by groundless unsatisfactory lesson observation reports. I had had a spotless teaching record for my entire previous career, including at Bronx Science.
Last week, responding to a lawsuit filed by the state teachers union, Judge Paul Feinman granted Lamphere’s petition to have the U-rating overturned. (Feinman is the same judge who denied the UFT’s bid to halt school closures and co-locations last summer.) According to the petition, which was filed in July, the city had upheld the U-rating even after Bronx Science Principal Valerie Reidy declined to contest Lamphere’s appeal. (more…)
November 15, 2011
The UFT is going to plan B in its latest legal appeal to keep Teacher Data Reports under wraps.
The fight over a Freedom of Information Law request by several city news organizations to release the reports, which calculated “value-added” scores for some teachers, is still making its way through the courts, even though the city has said it will not produce new reports.
The union sued to stop the city from releasing the scores, with teachers’ names, to the news organizations. But in August, confirming a lower-court judge’s ruling, the state’s second-highest court ruled that the scores are a matter of public interest and should be released. To appeal that ruling, the union had to follow a complicated set of legal procedures.
Here’s how we described the steps at the time:
Because the four judges on the Appellate Court ruled unanimously against the union, there’s no guarantee that the Court of Appeals will hear the case. Instead, the Appellate Court has to give permission. Within days, the union will ask the appellate court for permission to have the case heard in the Court of Appeals. If permission isn’t granted, the union can also ask the Court of Appeals itself.
The second scenario — that the Appellate Court would not refer the case to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court — played out today. Now the union must convince the Court of Appeals to hear the potentially precedent-setting case, which UFT President Michael Mulgrew said it would try to do quickly. (more…)