The PJ Tatler

'Unsatisfactory' Public School Teacher? Tough!

In New York City, of course, where it’s well-nigh impossible to fire one of these people:

Six strikes and she’s not out. The city Department of Education has failed to fire a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” for six consecutive years. Ann Legra, 44, a first-grade teacher at PS 173 in Washington Heights, racked up “six years of failing her students,” the city ­argued in a 16-day termination hearing.

Hearing officer Eugene Ginsberg upheld charges of Legra’s “inability to supervise students,” excessive lateness and absence and poor lesson planning in the 2012-2013 school year. But Ginsberg dismissed evidence that Legra was a lousy instructor, saying she didn’t get enough coaching. He imposed only a 45-day suspension without pay. Legra keeps her $84,500-a-year salary, but is now assigned to a pool of 1,400 teachers who serve as substitutes.

In case you’re wondering:

“Students up out of their seats, at least one was running, another was demonstrating karate moves on the closet door and the majority of the students were not involved in anything instructional — an issue that has repeatedly plagued your tenure as a classroom teacher,” he wrote at the time.

Three of her 6-year-olds were injured in a classroom melee that day, he added. Amid the “mayhem,” Goodman wrote, Legra was “buried in a corner at a computer table” where she could not monitor all the kids.

Legra said she was “re-sharpening pencils” that were too sharp — to prevent accidents. She claimed the students were “walking around the room working on word activities.” Over the school year, Legra was absent 27 times and late 37 times. Legra said she suffers asthma and had to go to court for a custody fight with her ex.

Then there’s this kicker:

Legal [sic — I think the Post means Legra] has since filed a federal lawsuit against the DOE, charging discrimination based on her race, gender, national origin and medical disability.