Teacher who was late 111 times says he was eating breakfast

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

NJ Teacher Who Was Late 111 Times Says He Was Eating Breakfast.

A New Jersey teacher who was late to work more than 100 times over the course of two school years may keep his job, according to an arbitrator’s decision. “I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning and I lost track of time,” Arnold Anderson told the Associated Press, noting that he planned to break the habit. In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator in New Jersey rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School to fire Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline.

Gregory ruled that the district did not formally notify Anderson of his shortcomings and failed to give him a required 90-day period to improve. “At most, Respondent uses micro-quibbles of a few unpersuasive explanations, with a macro-default position that even when he is late he nevertheless delivers a superb educational experience to his grateful students,” Gregory wrote in his Aug. 19 decision. “His self-serving inflated characterization of his substantive abilities misses the essential point,” Gregory wrote. “His students are fully entitled to receive Respondent’s very best efforts for the entire period, and not merely that remaining portion of the period following Respondent’s chronically late arrivals.” During the 2013-2014 school year, Anderson was late “49 times after 8:40 a.m. and 16 late punch-in times of five or more minutes,” according to Gregory’s decision. Almost all of his tardies happened during the few minutes before classes began, he said. “The contract called for teachers to arrive by 8:40, but he didn’t have any duties until 8:50, and he almost always arrived by 8:45,” Cridge said. New state regulations that cover the filing of tenure charges require rulings by state-appointed arbitrators that once took years to occur within 90 days, making it easier to accuse teachers of inefficiency.

Gregory, the arbitrator, said in an interview Friday that a teacher’s lateness matters, even if it happens before class actually begins. “In an increasingly competitive world, the teacher as role model is perhaps more important than it used to be,” he said.

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