Vilv.Bd. of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of N.Y. (In re Street)

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.Nov 10, 2015
19 N.Y.S.3d 51 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)
19 N.Y.S.3d 51133 A.D.3d 4382015 N.Y. Slip Op. 8085323 Ed. Law Rep. 1001

11-10-2015

In re Jean St. VIL, Petitioner–Appellant, v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF the CITY OF NEW YORK, etc., et al., Respondents–Respondents.

Richard E. Casagrande, New York (Michael J. Del Piano of counsel), for appellant. Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Terri Feinstein Sasanow of counsel), for respondents. TOM, J.P., RENWICK, ANDRIAS, MOSKOWITZ, MANZANET–DANIELS, JJ.


Richard E. Casagrande, New York (Michael J. Del Piano of counsel), for appellant.

Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Terri Feinstein Sasanow of counsel), for respondents.

TOM, J.P., RENWICK, ANDRIAS, MOSKOWITZ, MANZANET–DANIELS, JJ.

Opinion

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Alexander W. Hunter, Jr., J.), entered January 28, 2014, denying the petition to annul respondents' determination, dated September 19, 2012, which sustained petitioner teacher's unsatisfactory rating for the 2010–2011 school year, and dismissing the proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR article 78, unanimously reversed, on the law, without costs, the petition granted, the unsatisfactory rating annulled, and the matter remanded to respondents for further proceedings.

The record demonstrates deficiencies in the performance review process resulting in petitioner's unsatisfactory rating (U–rating) for the 2010–2011 school year that were not merely technical but undermined the integrity and fairness of the process (see Matter of Gumbs v. Board of Educ. of the City of Sch. Dist. of the City of N.Y., 125 A.D.3d 484, 4 N.Y.S.3d 169 [1st Dept.2015]; Matter of Kolmel v. City of New York, 88 A.D.3d 527, 529, 930 N.Y.S.2d 573 [1st Dept.2011]; Matter of Brown v. City of New York, 111 A.D.3d 426, 974 N.Y.S.2d 391 [1st Dept.2013] ).

Petitioner's unsatisfactory rating was based primarily on the principal's alleged personal observations as a rating officer. However, petitioner never received any post-observation reports by the rating officer until the U–rating appeal hearing and the principal does not claim to have spoken with petitioner following the alleged observations. Nor were comments critical of petitioner's performance placed in his file. Thus, there is no evidence that petitioner was notified before the end of the school year, in June 2011, that his work was considered unsatisfactory. The mere fact that he had the assistance of a guidance counselor and literary coach at some time during the school year did not constitute warning that he was at risk of an unsatisfactory rating since petitioner was never told that he was not improving in the areas of concern despite this assistance.