Nervous city teachers are worried about crucial performance evaluations and tenure decisions with the school system upended by the coronavirus crisis.
The Department of Education normally begins informing probationary teachers and tenure candidates about their future in June.
But anxious staffers are flooding city labor lawyers with questions about their standing now that traditional evaluation methods have been made impossible with the system’s closure.
“Our teacher clients have many questions right now,” said attorney Bryan Glass. “I am eligible for tenure this year — what will happen? Will my probation be extended? What will happen with my observations and final rating this year?”
State education officials have asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to issue an executive order to cancel formal teacher evaluations this year and a spokesman said Thursday that they’re reviewing the proposal.
City teachers are also wondering if they’ll be judged based on their success in implementing the DOE’s daunting remote learning model.
“Can I be written up if my students aren’t logging in?” asked one Brooklyn middle school educator. “Can I get something in my file that is going to become a problem down the line? These are the questions we have. There aren’t a lot of answers.”
Older teachers are especially concerned.
“I’m admittedly not as tech savvy as my colleagues,” said a Brooklyn teacher in his sixties. “They are breezing through these programs and I was just not as prepared to make the transition. I am used to a classroom.”
The DOE can still terminate probationary teachers and deny or approve tenure in the absence of an annual evaluation.
A DOE spokesperson told The Post Thursday said they are still reviewing the evaluation process but said tenure decisions will continue.
“This is uncharted territory and we appreciate the flexibility and patience of our educators as we await further guidance from the State on teacher evaluations,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson. “Teaching and learning is ongoing, and therefore tenure decisions will continue as usual.”
The United Federation of Teachers did not immediately respond to a question for comment.
The president of the city’s principals union told The Post Thursday that administrators will still make tenure decisions in spite of this year’s upheaval.
“Evaluation for tenure is at least a four-year process,” he said. “In most cases, there should have been enough time for a supervisor to make a determination. In unusual circumstances, probationary periods can be extended, so there is no reason to not go forward with conferring tenure where appropriate.”