The contract requires that the UFT and Department of Education agree upon citywide standards for the reduction and elimination of unnecessary paperwork (both paper and electronic).
DOE and UFT standards on paperwork reduction
As per the 2014 Memorandum of Agreement agreed upon by the UFT and the DOE, as a system we seek to reduce and eliminate unnecessary paperwork with which teachers and other school professionals are tasked. This document was drafted to provide standards to school educators and related service providers. It was drafted collaboratively between the UFT and the DOE and responds to concerns raised by schools and teachers.
The standards listed below were created by the central committee. In addition to the initial standards issued in September 2014, this updated document adds three standards, written in response to school feedback. It is the expectation that based on these standards these matters can be resolved at the school level.
This document is to be distributed to all schools and key stakeholders including SLT Chairpersons, PA/PTA Presidents, UFT Chapter Leaders, UFT District Representatives, District Superintendents, school leaders and CSA Representatives.
Employees (including those in functional chapters) who believe that they have been assigned unnecessary paperwork should first seek to resolve their concerns at the school level. If issues are not resolved at the school level, employees may request that their Chapter Leaders raise school-specific paperwork issues (whether paper or electronic) before their respective District Committees.
Paperwork reduction standards
1. General Standard
Educators and Related Service Providers shall not be required, whether on paper or electronically, to perform redundant, duplicative, unnecessary or unreasonable amounts of record keeping concerning the performance of, plans for or evaluation of students, unless necessary in order to comply with federal or state statutory or other legal requirements imposed on the DOE.
2. The Quality Review
Schools are to present only existing curricular and existing school-level documents to contextualize the assessment of all Quality Indicators, especially 1.1, rather than create documents for the sole purpose of the Quality Review. Additionally, evidence can be verbal or observable in the classroom/school environment within existing school processes and will include a review of only those documents used in the normal course of teaching and learning. Reviewers and evaluators will consider the time of the year that the visit takes place and the work underway in each school when they review curricular and other school-level documents.
3. Special Education/D75
- The DOE has discontinued the use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and CAP to record the provision of related services to K-12 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and will use SESIS encounter attendance as the primary system of record for related service provision, and BESIS for ESL provision.
- The DOE will continue to engage UFT to prioritize how to streamline and enhance SESIS functionality to increase usability. The system enhancements will commence on a rolling basis as identified.
- Each school or program shall continue to engage with all users of SESIS to provide adequate time and computer access to complete SESIS-related tasks.
4. Data Systems and Attendance
- Schools may adopt only one school-based system for tracking student attendance (not including SESIS) in addition to the DOE source attendance system, except when expressly required by law or expressly required to receive federal, state or private grant funds schools may have additional attendance systems as required.
- The DOE will explore and pursue options to integrate attendance-taking systems with as many other tasks as possible as part of our commitment to the UFT to reduce teacher paperwork.
- Educators and related service providers are not required to print collections or binders of documents that are available in electronic databases. Teachers are responsible for complying with reasonable requests for printing any documents for the purposes of parent interactions/communications and professional conversations with supervisors.
- School staff will continue to be responsible, based on student need, for providing reports related to student achievement, report cards, a student’s IEP, student behavior, and the social/emotional development of individual students. Such requests will not be routinized, school-wide or solely for the purpose of creating a binder for the storage of information.
- Educators and Related Service Providers shall be required to keep grades and/or session notes in one manner, unless necessary in order to comply with federal or state statutory or other legal requirements imposed on DOE. Staff required to use online or electronic systems shall be provided adequate computer access during the workday. This is in addition to the DoE source system until such time as systems can be aligned.
5. Parent Engagement, Other Professional Work, and Professional Development
Parent Engagement, Other Professional Work and Professional Development time shall not generate excessive or redundant paperwork or electronic work. This shall not preclude a principal from creating reasonable requirements requiring teachers to briefly track Parent Engagement time.
Every spring, and at the request of either party, the Central Paperwork Committee shall review the standards to see if they need to be modified and/or updated.
In addition, Central and District paperwork committees are to meet on a regularly scheduled basis once a month to address paperwork issues and to ensure the standards are being properly implemented in the schools.
Any UFT-represented employee, including those in functional chapters, may request that you, as chapter leader, raise paperwork issues before the District Committee. You should discuss with your principal first. If you can’t resolve the matter then reach out to your UFT district representative.
Paperwork issues not resolved by a District Committee may be referred to the Central Committee. If not resolved by the Central Committee, the union can choose to take the matter to arbitration.