The Department of Education is moving to upgrade the ratings of teachers at Brooklyn’s Dewey HS who were rated as “ineffective” after they challenged grade-fixing by then-principal Kathleen Elvin, The Post has learned.
Elvin was fired on July 8 after DOE investigators substantiated that widespread grade-fixing went on at Dewey to boost graduation rates — a practice students mockingly referred to as “Easy Pass.”
Teachers complained that Elvin and other administrators punished them with poor ratings for refusing to participate in the fraud.
The “ineffective” ratings of at least four of 16 tenured teachers who received them were overturned following appeals to a state arbitrator, sources said.
Those teachers had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the changing of their ratings.
Records revealed that half of Dewey’s 101 instructors got ratings of either “ineffective (16 teachers) or “developing” (35 teachers) in the 2013-14 school year.
That 50 percent failure rate compared to a citywide average of only 8 percent.
Given an "ineffective" rating for refusing to participate in fraudulent behavior involving grade-fixing.
Gee, that doesn't sound like an "objective" evaluation system to me.
And NYSED admits as much by overturning at least four of the "ineffective" ratings of tenured teachers who appealed them.
There may be more overturned ratings - we don't know the exact number because of the confidentiality agreements
But what we do know is this - if Elvin and her assistant principals used APPR as a weapon against teachers to perpetrate their fraud, other principals and assistant principals can use APPR as a weapon against teachers for other reasons as well.
Had Elvin not been exposed in the grade-fixing scandal, these teachers at Dewey would still be working with "ineffective" ratings on their records.
You can bet there are other administrators elsewhere who have handed out "ineffective" ratings for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the teacher.
We learned from Chancellor Farina this week that APPR is a sham when she acknowledged that "effective" teachers can have their ratings adversely affected by switching schools and going to teach in a school with high poverty/high homelessness demographics.
And now we've learned from the NYSED that teachers can have their APPR ratings manipulated by administrators with agendas - such as the one by Kathleen Elvin, which was, join her in her grade-fixing fraud or receive and "ineffective" rating for the year.