Ed Notes Query Response: Grieving U observations

    As more responses come in, they will be added. If you have more info add it to the comments.

    Original Query From a high school:

    This may come as a surprise and tremendous shock, but in speaking with
    teachers at two different high schools, one a small new school, one a
    traditional large and phasing out school, teachers are very confused whether they can grieve a "U" observation on a lesson. Even one chapter chair was not clear.
    Since it takes the form of a letter, some people think they cannot grieve,
    not until the end of the yr if they get a U on final evaluation document.
    I know someone here will clarify and I will spread the message.....thanks in advance...


    Elem CL

    Hi Norm, You know that I have had experience with this one--here goes:

    An observation report is considered a letter for file, so technically you cannot grieve it, BUT make sure the teacher writes and attaches a response to the write up. This way if it is used for a U Rating at the end of the year, (which rarely get overturned), the teacher has some back up as to what actually happened with the lesson. If the teacher did not have a pre- or a post observation conference before and after the lesson, then they can grieve the report under article 8J. Article 8J is the article to look at for grievences about observations. But like I said before, they are considered letters for file, so unfortunately, we no longer have the right to grieve them unless there's a technically like the conferences before the lesson was executed.
    Good luck.

    MS CL
    similar situation occurred in my school
    here is what the union told me.

    Probationers and U rated people should have pre-observation conference.
    Grievances are not permitted on the content of the observed lesson, but rather the procedure of the observation. There is an article on this in a recent NY Teacher.

    HS CL
    Yes, an AP or Principal can rate a lesson as unsatisfactory. And thanks to the 2005 contract the observation report (aka "material in the file") can no longer be grieved. One can still appeal a U-rating, however, if it comes to that.

    HS CL
    Good question. I thought you cannot grieve the observation, unless perhaps a major reason for the U was something like lesson plan format. There’s also Article 24, Professional Conciliation when it’s a matter of differing judgment. Outside of that I am not sure off hand what else you can do.

    Elem CL
    I assume you can grieve a U rating during the year also. It would depend on informal and formal observation reports from the Principal. Maybe the teacher recieves an S rating on one report and a U rating on another report and so on. Also, the Principal would have to prove he/she gave you help and guidance to be a better teacher. E.g. send you to workshops on classroom managment or pair you with a mentor teacher.

    Elem CL
    my understanding is that while we cannot grieve letters placed in our files, we can attach a reply. Signing the letter simply means we received, not that we agree with it.

    A "U" rating on an observation is usually followed up with a chance to have a second observation and to have the letter replaced with a satisfactory lesson observation. Teachers have the right to request a pre-observation, to have their plan looked over by the administrator who will do the observation. It's pretty unusual for an administration to refuse to give people a second chance at the observation.

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Ed Notes Query Response: Grieving U observations

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