by Howard Edelman of the American Arbitration Association

RECEIVED


JUN 05 1998


SDEERU


SED File No. 3318


STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONS UNIT


In the Matter of the Arbitration


Between


BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY
OF NEW YORK,


"Board"


and


DAVID ROEMER


"Respondent"


a proceeding pursuant to Section 3020-a of the Education Law


APPEARANCES


For the Board
Michael Mazzariello, Esq., Office of Legal Services


For the Respondent
Joel Field, Esq.


Dr. David Roemer, Respondent


BEFORE:


Howard C. Edelman, Esq., Chairman of the Panel
Dorothy Petrucelli, Employer Panel Member
Doris Shaffer, Employee Panel Member




BACKGROUND


The Board preferred charges pursuant to Section 3020-a of the Education Law upon Dr. David Roemer in or about December 1996. Respondent contends that the charges are without foundation. He asks that they be dismissed.


Dr. David Roemer has been employed by the Board as a High School Science Teacher since 1984. During the period 1984-89 he was assigned to Midwood High School. In February 1990 Roemer began teaching at Erasmus High School as a result of being excessed from Midwood. He remained at Erasmus until the 1994-95 school year when he began teaching at Edward R. Murrow High School. In March 1996, Roemer was removed from his teaching duties there. While at Murrow, Roemer taught Fundamentals of Science and Physics. Essentially, school officials there objected to the manner in which he conducted his classes. In addition, they believed that he did not make himself available for conferences, meetings and other avenues designed to improve his performance. Roemer, for his part, contended that his methodology was appropriate and that he acted reasonably and responsibly in light of factors discussed below.


As a result, the Board preferred charges upon Roemer in or about December 1996. Pursuant to the Rules and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the undersigned panel was constituted to hear and decide the charges brought against Roemer.


Hearings were held before us on June 13, 1997; October 17, 1997; November 13, 25, 1997; December 17, 1997; January 29, 1998 and February 12, 1998. The Board closed its case via oral argument on that date. Respondent submitted a brief thereafter. Upon the Panel's receipt of same, the record was closed. These Findings and Recommendations follow.


THE CHARGES


[This section reproduced the charges.]


POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES


The Board asserts that Respondent's dismissal is warranted. It points out that he was rated "Unsatisfactory" in two successive years. In its view, these ratings are indicative in and of themselves of his inability to teach.


Furthermore, the Board maintains, his supervisors, Assistant Principal Ira Cohen and Principal Saul Bruckner are respected administrators with many years of pedagogical experience. Neither was out to get the Respondent, it insists. Nor did they engage in a conspiracy to seek his discharge, it avers.


Instead, the Board maintains, the two repeatedly tried to improve the quality of Respondent's performance. To this end, they informed him of the need to prepare adequate lesson plans, the Board urges. Also, it argues, they repeatedly reminded him of the need to involve students in meaningful activities. Yet, the Board asserts, Respondent did not heed any suggestions the administrators made. Hence, it urges, he did not improve despite extensive remediative efforts.


Furthermore, the Board alleges that Respondent was openly defiant. He did not comply with directives to participate in pre- and post-observation conferences, it contends. As such, the Board maintains, Respondent demonstrated both insubordination and incompetence during the period in dispute.


The Board acknowledges Respondent's claims regarding the conciliation process. However, it insists , his participation in that process did not absolve him of his obligation to respond affirmatively to administrative suggestions to improve his performance. Hence, it alleges, Respondent cannot hide behind the conciliation process as an excuse for incompetent teaching.


For these reasons, the Board contends that Respondent's culpability of the charges has been proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The only appropriate penalty for his culpability is dismissal, in the Board's view, and it asks this Panel to so find.


Respondent submits that he should not be discharged. He argues that this dispute involves essentially a difference in philosophy between him and the administrators at Murrow High School . According to Respondent, Messrs. Cohen and Bruckner wanted him to teach a developmental lesson and to provide developmental lesson plans. However, he believes, a more constructivist approach is appropriate, whereby he would distribute a student lesson plan at the beginning of each period which would contain an explanation of the concepts to be covered and questions to be answered. Students would then work in groups of two or individually after he explained and demonstrated the concept, Respondent avers. Furthermore, he would be available to answer questions and, where necessary, assist students one-on-one, he remembers (231-232).


Respondent contends that his approach resulted from practical successes achieved at his former assignment at Erasmus High School. There, Respondent suggests, he utilized this approach to good advantage, having found developmental lessons and developmental lesson plans to be ineffective when he utilized them at Midwood High School, his placement immediately preceding Erasmus. Given these circumstances, Respondent argues that his approach to teaching his classes at Murrow promised greater success than the methodology urged upon him by Cohen and Bruckner (See Board Exhibit 2Q).


Moreover, Respondent submits, he reasonably attempted to resolve his pedagogical differences with the administrators in his school. In this context, he notes that he invoked the conciliation procedure set forth in Article XXIV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Education and the United Federation of Teachers. That provision, he points out, provides that the District Superintendent will attempt to resolve the matter and, absent such resolution, a conciliator will be assigned to help remediate the educational differences which remain.


Pursuant to these procedures, Respondent attempted in good faith to conciliate his differences with Cohen and Bruckner, he alleges. However, he maintains, even though he genuinely sought to compromise pedagogical differences in the conciliation session which was held before Brooklyn High Schools Superintendent Joyce Coppin, she ignored his concerns and in contravention to her role as conciliator, told him he should do as his supervisors asked (645, Respondent's Exhibit 4). Therefore, Respondent alleges, the Superintendent thwarted the conciliation process in this regard.


Respondent points out he did not receive a letter officially terminating the conciliation process until November 1995 (Respondent's Exhibit 41). Consequently, he urges, from the time of the Coppin meeting in January of that year until November 1995, he assumed that the conciliation process was still ongoing (250-251). Therefore, he urges, any suggestion that he failed to implement suggestions for improvement during this period must be viewed in this context; that he legitimately believed the pedagogical differences could be amicably resolved and that in the interim he could continue to teach as he had in the past.


Respondent acknowledges refusing to attend post-observation conferences at the beginning of the 1995-96 school year without a third party being present (473-474). However, he submits, it would have been pointless to do so since in the past any suggestions or comments he raised were never included in his evaluation reports and since it was apparent that Cohen and Bruckner continued to insist upon the developmental lesson approach. Given these factors, Respondent contends it is irresponsible for the Board to seek his ouster. In his counsel's words, one does not "become an incompetent teacher because, desiring to address particular areas of student learning he adopts...an innovative methodology that he...successfully used...and fails to use a method preferred by the principal which he is uncomfortable in...doing (Respondent's brief, p.15)."


Respondent acknowledges he strongly believes his methodology superior to that advanced by the Board. However, he insists, he should not be punished simply because he steadfastly sought to avail himself of the conciliation process and because the Superintendent torpedoed that process by her judgmental behavior.


In addition, Respondent contends that the Board has failed to demonstrate his incompetency as required by law. He argues that the test of incompetence is whether a valid educational experience has taken place in the classroom [In re Board of Educational Services of Southern Westchester, 32 Ed Rep't 358 (1992)]. By this standard there is no doubt that he is a competent teacher, Respondent insists. He suggests that the pass rate for those students taking the Physics Regents in 1993-94 was 60 percent and in 1995-96 was 65 percent; while in 1994-95 the only full year he taught Physics in Murrow it was 70 percent. Also, he asserts, Cohen and Bruckner's decision to rate him " Unsatisfactory , " arose not because they believed no learning was taking place, but because they were dissatisfied with his methodology. Furthermore, he suggests, the unit tests which were generated by the Physics Department reveal that the students were in fact, learning the subject matter. Therefore, Respondent urges, the Board has not established his incompetence by a preponderance of the evidence.


Similarly, Respondent alleges that the Board has not demonstrated that he was insubordinate during the period in question. Any refusals to meet with Bruckner or Cohen were based on his legitimate belief that the conciliation process was ongoing, he avers. Moreover, he argues, the tone of the administrators' admonitions reveal that his encounters with them were of a disciplinary nature. Therefore, he maintains, he had every right to insist upon the presence of his Chapter Chairperson at these meetings.


Finally, Respondent asserts that he always acted in a professional manner toward his colleagues and his superiors. Nor are suggestions that he was the "joke of the school" proven, he insists. Therefore, Respondent contends that the Board simply has not established his culpability of the charges and that, consequently, they must be dismissed.


DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS


While there are numerous charges in this matter, they generally fall into a few categories. These may be summarized as follows:


  • Respondent's failure to construct and/or provide lesson plans for classes.
  • Respondent' s failure to actively engage himself in the teaching/learning process.
  • Respondent's failure to include aim, motivation and summaries in student lessons.
  • Respondent's failure to attend pre- and post observation conferences.

While other allegations may appear in some of the charges, the ones listed above are the most serious and most common to the charges. They will be analyzed independently.


With respect to the "lesson plan" charges, there is no doubt as to Respondent' s culpability.The Board required that he submit lesson plans; written documents describing what he intended to teach and what devices he intended to utilize (e.g., aim, motivation, etc.) to teach the prescribed subject matter. However, the record conclusively establishes that Respondent did not submit lesson plans, as required by school officials. Instead, he submitted what he charitably called "student lesson plans," in an obvious attempt to obfuscate the difference between a "lesson plan" and a "student lesson plan." These documents, whatever one terms them, can hardly be viewed as lesson plans. Consider, for example, Respondent's Exhibit 31 which purports to be a lesson plan and relates to Charge 2G. It reads as follows:


Aim:What connects heat and mechanical energy? Lesson 31

Materials: hand electric generator

There are two ways to increase the temperature of a body. One way is to put the body in contact with a hotter body, and the other way is to do work on the body. Work can be done on a body by compressing the body, as in the case of a gas, or by using the force of friction. By rubbing your hands together it is easy to see that friction generates heat, i.e., temperature changes. This raises the question: how many joules of mechanical energy are needed to produce 1 calorie of heat? Many experiments can be done to measure this quantity and the result is 4.18 joules. This is considered a fundamental constant, like the mass of an electron or the universal constant of gravity, G.


  1. What is mechanical energy? Name 4 forms of mechanical energy.
  2. Describe two experiments which will measure the so-called mechanical equivalent of heat, " 4.18 joules = 1 calorie.
  3. Before the development of the theory of the conservation of energy and the molecular theory of matter, it was believed that all objects contain a weightless, invisible, odorless, substance called "caloric." When something burns the "caloric" is released. The hotter an object is the more "caloric" it contains. When a hot object comes in contact with a cold object "caloric" flows from the hot object to the cold object. Discuss the experimental facts that are consistent with and inconsistent with this theory.
  4. Suppose you add heat to one liter of water and the temperature rises 1 degree Celsius. If you add the same amount of heat to two liters of water, how much will the temperature rise?
  5. An average person will consume and expend 2000 kcal per day. How much heat is this in Joules? What is the rate at which heat is expended in watts?

It is true that the document contains the word "Aim." However, what is listed as the aim can hardly be characterized as such, instead, like the rest of the items, it is simply a question which the Respondent wants the students to either answer or understand.


Also of significance is the failure to list any objectives of the lesson or any ways to achieve those objectives; i.e., motivation. Clearly, then, what Respondent characterized as student lesson plans are neither lessons nor plans. Instead, they are more accurately described as "work sheets" which Respondent gave out at the beginning of his classes, or shortly thereafter, and which he expected the students to complete. Consequently, the Panel finds, Respondent did not submit lesson plans as required.


Nor can Respondent claim ignorance as to what elements constitute a proper lesson plan. The record is replete with instances in which Assistant Principal Ira Cohen and/or Principal Saul Bruckner informed Respondent what was expected of him in this regard.


On October 6, 1995, Cohen wrote to Respondent concerning his inadequate lesson plans:


6)When I asked you for a copy of your lesson plan, you indicated that the handout that students received was the lesson plan. This worksheet contained three sentences of explanation and 7 problems. It did not indicate what materials would be used or how they would be used. There was no evidence of any strategies for achieving the goals of the lesson. Your lack of a written lesson Plan and continued reliance on student worksheets, ignores the instructional approaches listed for you by Mr. Bruckner in his letter of September 14 (Board Exhibit 2B).


Nor was such notice confined to a single paragraph in a single document. On September 14, 1995, Roemer's second year at Edward R. Murrow, Principal Bruckner wrote to the Respondent. He stated inter alia:


I stated that a satisfactory evaluation [for the year] would depend upon the following:


2)Preparation of written lesson plans for every lesson that you teach. Different types of lessons grow out of different lesson plans but each, whether a lecture, developmental or constructivist lesson requires a written plan.


It is significant that Respondent, in essence, refused to provide the lesson plans that Cohen and Bruckner desired. In response to the September 14, 1995 letter he wrote:


2)My lesson plans last year consisted of the student lesson plans, with which you are familiar, and any notes I may or may not have jotted down in preparing for the lesson. In my opinion these lesson plans are adequate aids in producing excellent lessons. I will not do everything exactly the same way this year, however, these plans will be the basis of this year's instruction.


As noted above, "these plans" were simply worksheets. While Respondent may have added a comment or two to them, he was true to his word. That is, the inadequate lesson plans of the past became the inadequate lesson plans for the 1995-96 school year as well.


Cohen also noted that he specifically gave Respondent a set of lesson plans which could be utilized.



Q. In the foundation of science class, do you recall what was being taught?

A.He was teaching a lesson in scientific methods at the end of the term. This was a course that he had received a book of lesson plans to follow and one of the first lesson plans was a lesson in scientific methods and he was teaching it at the end of the course and not following the lesson plan as it was written and this was toward the end of the year, after I had been telling him that what he had been doing is unsatisfactory, here's a book of lesson plans, please follow this. He didn't do that. (187)


Thus, there is no doubt that despite being apprised of what lesson plans Respondent was required to submit, he failed to do so. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent culpable of failing to provide written lesson plans, as directed.


The Panel recognizes that lesson plans are merely pieces of paper. We are sure there are many able and competent teachers who prepare inadequate lesson plans but teach excellent lessons. However, the record reveals that Cohen and Bruckner had the same problems with Respondent's lessons as they did with his lesson plans.


Cohen noted in his observation report of the October 6, 1995 lesson he observed, that "Student participation ...was nonexistent (Board Exhibit 2B)."


Bruckner made a similar comment in his September 14, 1995 letter wherein sought from Respondent:


3)Increased student participation in the development of your lessons.



On October 3, 1995, Principal Bruckner visited Respondent' s class again. Not only did he deem the lesson unsatisfactory, he specifically noted that his prior suggestions had not been followed. Also, Bruckner commented:


This lesson was unsatisfactory. It lacked a plan and a focus and a clear sense of direction. Your use of demonstrations did not involve students. Student questions were not answered. Students left the room still not sure of what you wanted them to do. Students could not effectively participate in the lesson. (Board Exhibit 10)


Respondent's answer to these conclusions is significant. Instead of attempting to comply with the criticisms levied against him, he stated:


You regard my methods as inferior to your own teaching practices and paradigms. You think my lessons are bad, but if I follow your directions my lessons will be transformed from bad to average or good. You demand that I implement these changes. I refuse and you, with the vehemence of outraged virtue, insult my teaching and declare that my lessons are unsatisfactory.

You are unaware or indifferent to the consequences of your actions. You have declared that one of your appointed teachers is incompetent and given him just cause for rejecting you as a supervisor. You have, in effect, withdrawn from your supervisory responsibilities and said to Mrs. Coppin, "This guy is crazy. He can't teach. I can't do anything with him. You handle the problem."

In this connection I want to quote from Mr. Cohen's latest effort at improving my teaching. He says in the last paragraph, "At the close of the meeting I told you that if you continued to give out these worksheets at the outset of the lesson and then base the lesson on the contents, with no further development of concepts, I would continue to rate your lessons as unsatisfactory." This says it all. I am being declared an unsatisfactory teacher because I am not doing what you and Mr. Cohen want me to do (emphasis added).


These comments are revealing. They indicate a teacher who stubbornly refuses to make the changes demanded of him. While he steadfastly believed he was right, the simple fact is that he willfully decided to ignore the suggestions and directives of those empowered to make them. Such unwillingness must weigh heavily against him, the Panel finds.


In this context, we note Respondent's claim that most of the lessons which supervisors rated as unsatisfactory were in fact, satisfactory. It is not our role to determine whose teaching method is better.


Administrators have a right to insist upon a particular methodology so long as their suggestions and directives are reasonable and are neither arbitrary nor capricious. Clearly, Cohen and Bruckner's suggestions fell into neither category.


Indeed, there is no doubt that Bruckner and Cohen properly criticized Respondent were failing to adequately involve students in his lessons. This comment is repeated in many of their observation reports (e.g., Board Exhibits l-F, l-H, l-I, l-L, l-M, 2-E, 2-G, 2-J). These observations are factually based particularly in light of Respondent's comments that he had students working in pairs and was available to answer questions. While such a technique might be occasionally useful, it is surely not a substitute for hands on teaching which engages students' interest, attention and participation. Furthermore, none of Bruckner and Cohen's suggestions or observations were based on anything but their assessment of his performance.


In sum, on this point, there is nothing in the record to even remotely suggest that Bruckner or Cohen placed unreasonable demands upon Roemer. They surely did not conspire to oust him and Roemer acknowledged that he did not regard them as malicious individuals bent on getting him. Instead, the goals they espoused - more student participation, greater responsiveness to students' questions, injecting lessons with aims, motivations, etc. ; and better use of demonstrations, reflect commonly accepted pedagogical methodology. Thus, Respondent's failure to adhere to them renders him culpable of the charges alleging unsatisfactory performance in its various forms.


We note Respondent's claim that he was utilizing a methodology which was successful in his assignment at Erasmus High School. Whether this is so or not we need not decide. The fact remains that his supervisors in his current assignment wanted him to teach differently. In their view, he was simply handing out worksheets, taking a few minutes to explain the day's work and in essence, letting the students fend for themselves. They obviously had a right to espouse that he conduct his classes in a different manner. That manner was neither irrational nor unsupportable. Thus, by adamantly refusing to accede to their suggestions, Respondent revealed his own culpability of these charges, the Panel concludes.


Respondent's refusal to meet with his supervisors is also well documented. On November 13, 1995, Cohen wrote to Respondent about the class he observed on November 8, 1995. In that report, Cohen noted, "This is the third time this year that you have refused to meet with me to discuss lessons that I have observed...even though you have been directed to do so by Mr. Bruckner (Board Exhibit 2-F)." Similar comments appear in the letter dated October 5, 1995, from Cohen to Respondent.


Respondent's response to these directives was similar to his response to directives raised concerning lessons and lesson plans. He found the directives meaningless since he believed nothing good could come out of the meetings. As a result, he stopped attending them:


Q. Isn't it true you stopped going to post-observation conferences?

A.Yes. (581)


Clearly, he should not have. In so doing, Respondent was blatantly insubordinate. Thus, we conclude, he is culpable of the charges to this extent, as well. For the reasons set forth above, the Panel concludes that Respondent David Roemer is culpable of failing to provide adequate aims and summaries in his lessons; of failing to adequately involve students in his lessons; of failing to motivate students in his lessons; of failing to provide appropriate written lesson plans; and of failing to meet with his supervisors concerning the lessons he had taught. Consequently, we turn to the proper penalty for his culpability, as delineated above.


Respondent's counsel asserted that discharge was not proper because of the poor manner in which school officials handled the conciliation process. Essentially, conciliation affords the teacher an opportunity to discuss with supervisors their pedagogical differences and to try and reach an accommodation. The Panel notes Respondent's claim that Superintendent of Brooklyn High Schools, Joyce Coppin, did not properly function as a conciliator between Respondent and school administrators. We find some merit to this allegation. Superintendent Coppin's letter to Roemer dated February 3, 1995 states that she is "making recommendations which effectively tell you to accept the principal's position," and she that is "reminding you that, based on what I have heard at the meeting, you are in danger of getting an unsatisfactory rating (Respondent's Exhibit 4)."


The Panel agrees with Respondent's contention that those comments go beyond the Superintendent's role as a conciliator. The directive, to "accept the principal's position," though couched as a recommendation, is not a conciliatory gesture but is rather the imposition of a requirement. Thus, we find, the conciliation process at Dr. Coppin's level was not properly conducted.


However, Superintendent Coppin's letter to Respondent did not permit him to flout legitimate directives of his school administrators and to continue teaching in the manner he had previously taught and to fail to provide required lesson plans. Nothing in the conciliation process permits a teacher to use it as a shield to ignore the pedagogical methodology which the school deems appropriate.


Similarly, we reject Respondent's claim that he thought he could continue to act as he had in the past because the conciliation process were still ongoing. Conciliator Harold Mathis testified on this issue. He recalled conducting a conciliation session in March 1995. Respondent and Bruckner were present and spoke. Significantly, Mathis remembered that he "made it clear that we were not going to be able to resolve the issue. We are not going to find common ground (671-673)." Given this testimony, which was clear and unrebutted, there can be no doubt that Respondent knew the conciliation process had not succeeded as early as Spring 1995. As such, his assertion that he was waiting for the conciliation process to finish while still insisting on teaching the way he wanted, failing to provide lesson plans, etc. is without merit.


In addition, on November 8, 1995, Respondent was formally notified that the conciliation process was at an end (Respondent's Exhibit 41). Yet even after this date, he refused to attend post-observation conferences or to involve students to a greater degree in lessons or to provide written lesson plans (e.g., Board Exhibit 2-I, letter dated December 15, 1995).


The Panel also notes Respondent's claim that significant learning did take place, despite the criticisms leveled against him. We need not address this issue, in detail. Many students will learn even in the worst of circumstances. Nonetheless, we do note that the Physics Regents' failure rate was higher in Respondent's classes than in those of other Physics teachers (584-585; letter from Ira Cohen to Respondent, dated June 22, 1995).


It is true that at times a teacher deemed incompetent and/or insubordinate in a pedagogical setting is given an additional opportunity to improve. This is especially so where, as here, the teacher has long service in the school system. However, the specific facts of this case demand that Respondent's services be terminated. This is so for a number of reasons.


First, Respondent was repeatedly observed and counseled. There were approximately fifteen formal observations in one and one-half years. Each observation was followed by a detailed report which specifically delineated what was expected of him. Those suggestions were also incorporated into those post-observation conferences which Respondent chose to attend.


Significantly, Respondent did not evince a lack of understanding to the criticisms and suggestions offered. Indeed, the Panel was impressed with his knowledge of the subject matter and his general intelligence. Instead, Respondent simply refused to incorporate the many suggestions and directives issued. As such, we are convinced, this is not a case of a teacher who could improve with additional training. Instead, this is a case of a teacher who simply believed he was right and everyone else was wrong. Thus, we conclude, no useful purpose would be served by restoring Respondent to duty.


Also, we note Respondent's assertion at the end of the hearing that he would incorporate suggestions made by Bruckner and Cohen (709-710). However, this last minute willingness to teach as his administrators wished is belied by other evidence. On direct examination, Respondent was asked what methods he was prepared to change. He stated he would alter certain methods of his practices through the conciliation process as follows:


The first; step would be to try to identify exactly the difference between what I was doing in the class and what they wanted me to do or what the other teachers were doing or what I was doing in - -at Midwood.

It's not at all clear exactly -- I mean, it's not clear in my mind exactly what the difference was between what I was doing in Midwood and what I was doing at Murrow. To me I was just adding things, but that would be the first step, to see if we could resolve that.

Then the second thing would have been, since we were all agreed that the best lesson is the ones where there's the most amount of student participation, would be to find a way to measure student participation, maybe by tests at the end of the period or having people observe the activities of the students.

And the third level that it could have been conciliated would be by comparing the test scores my kids got with the test scores that the other teachers got.

And if we had gone through these steps and these processes, it might have been possible for us to resolve our--our differences. (emphasis added 539-540)


Respondent's last comment is most significant. It indicates he would have been willing to modify his practice only if the administrators were willing to accept some or all of his views about teaching. While this may be a genuinely conciliatory attitude, it affords no basis for us to conclude that were Respondent returned to duty he would conform to the requirements imposed by his administrators


This view of Respondent's is best reflected in his answer to the following question:


Q.Well, when you say you weren't going to change without the conciliation process, can you explain what you mean by that?

A.Well, I was willing to change my teaching methods as part of the conciliation process, and if I went to the post observation, that would be taken as an indication that this was not the case, that I was trying to implement Mr. Bruckner's suggestions. (703)


This, we are convinced, is Respondent's true attitude - that he would not accept the suggestions of administrators until and unless the conciliation process made the administrators change their own views. Since the process did not produce this result, there is no reason to believe that Respondent would not alter his practices, were he returned to duty.


In sum, the Panel finds Respondent David Roemer culpable of the charges preferred against him, as indicated above. Given the extensive assistance, suggestions, etc. he received and his failure to implement them, as well as his insubordination regarding meetings and conferences, the Panel concludes that Respondent's dismissal must be upheld. It is so ordered.


AWARD


Respondent David Roemer is culpable of the charges preferred against him pursuant to Section 3020-a of the Education Law.


The appropriate penalty for Respondent's culpability is dismissal from service.


DATED: June 1, 1998


HOWARD C. EDELMAN, ESQ., HEARING OFFICER


On this 1st day of June 1998, before me personally came and appeared Howard C. Edelman to me known to me to be the individual described in and who executed the foregoing instrument and he acknowledged to me that he executed the same.


Sworn to before me on June 1, 1998


ELEANOR E. GLANSTElN


Notary Public




CONCUR (initialed)


DISSENT


Dorothy Petrucelli
Board Panel Member


Date: 5/12/98





Sworn to before me on May 12 th 1998



Notary Public



MlCHAEL PETRUCELLI