Appeal from the Order of the Department of Education in case of Viola C. Rosso v. The Board of School Directors of the Owen J. Roberts School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal No. 236.
Robert M. Rowlands, for petitioner.
Lane H. Daylor, with him Kranzley, Wrigley, Yergey & Daylor, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 176]
Respondent dismissed petitioner as a professional employee on grounds of incompetency, pursuant to Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1122. The Secretary of Education (Secretary) dismissed petitioner's appeal. We affirm.
Petitioner had been employed by respondent as a French teacher since 1962. She received satisfactory ratings until the 1971-72 school year, when a new multi-level program for teaching French was introduced
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 177]
throughout respondent's French classes.*fn1 In March 1972, the district superintendent was notified that the petitioner's building principal recommended that petitioner be rated unsatisfactory, based on the principal's observations and those of an assistant principal who holds a master's degree in French. The superintendent directed two other administrators to observe petitioner and did so himself on two consecutive days. He then rated petitioner unsatisfactory for the 1971-72 school year. He discussed the matter with petitioner and subsequently directed his subordinate administrators to develop a plan by which her performance could be improved.
During the following school year, the administrators again observed petitioner on several occasions and held numerous conferences with her. While noting some improvement, each of the administrators felt that the problems of the previous year still generally persisted. Among these were that petitioner failed to maintain a proper pace to insure that the scheduled program for the year would be completed; that she did not maintain lesson plans and keep her presentation organized; and that her method of instruction was unvaried, "teacher-dominated," and did not create an atmosphere conducive to learning. Petitioner received a final unsatisfactory rating for the 1972-73 school year and was charged with incompetency in May 1973.
After a delay occasioned by petitioner's illness, respondent held hearings on September 18, 1973 and October 2, 1973. Testimony from the five administrators who participated in the observation and rating process was offered. Petitioner denied the charges
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 178]
and testified that her effectiveness as a teacher was hampered by the fact that the textbook schedule was not designed for classes meeting only three times a week and in 1971-72 she did not receive enough textbooks for her classes until approximately two months into the school year. She testified further that the superintendent failed to furnish anecdotal records immediately after petitioner was rated for 1971-72, as required by the Department of Education form on which the rating was recorded. Respondent nevertheless voted, 7-0, one member abstaining, to dismiss petitioner effective October 2, ...