Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ed Week: In L.A., Tensions Rise Over Teacher-Misconduct Investigations

Here we go.... at last this hits Big News: The suit, filed this month, charges that the district has unfairly targeted veteran teachers on trumped-up claims of misconduct. It is being brought by the nationally prominent teacher Rafe Esquith, who was recently fired by the school board after a district investigation leveled charges of personal misconduct.
I have no way of knowing if Rafe Equith is innocent or guilty.
"United Teachers Los Angeles, the district union, has not taken a stance on Esquith's case. But it has repeatedly expressed concerns about whether investigators are targeting teachers for minor infractions or reasons other than misconduct."

My gripe has been that districts prefer to get rid of expensive career teachers and replace them with less experienced newbies.   This is particularly true for veteran teachers who prefer to speak out on education issues that rub admin the wrong way.  Unlike  employment in the private sector where support for the company line is appropriate, public school employment allows teachers to speak out on issues.  Unfortunately such speech may be the route to termination.

It is often pointed out that most teachers support the Common Core. Of course publicly most teachers support CCSS as they like staying employed. 
Link to EdWeek article:

In L.A., Tensions Rise Over Teacher-Misconduct Investigations

  The law firm representing Esquith says that some 2,000 teachers said that they, too, have been harmed by district investigations, and could potentially join the suit. .....

.....   But pressing too aggressively risks raising concerns of profiling or overzealousness. Indeed, the firm representing Esquith, helmed by big-name criminal-defense lawyer Mark Geragos, has called the team that investigated his client "an investigative hit squad."

------ addendum from Seattle teacher on "Whistleblowing" ..  =>    Ha, ha.  Sure we have freedom of speech, but when I spoke out (whistleblowing) at a school board meeting on my principal misusing funds for her own purpose, she filed an harassment charge against me (for asking for the school budget-- from my union who then informed her of my request!)  and I was transferred, over the protests of many parents at the school board. 

 I eventually "won" my grievance for wrongful transfer (the union refused to enforce the more powerful "no retaliation for whistleblowing" clause in the CBA) but the arbitrator agreed with the district that I should be transferred nonetheless!  SEA claimed a win, even though I lost!    Sure, speak out but beware the union will betray you and the district will retaliate.

Know what the district's whistleblower policy is?   Go get 'em! 

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