Friday, March 20, 2009
Principals Are Still Not Hiring ATRs For The Classroom Despite The UFT/DOE Agreement
When the UFT, with much fanfare, negotiated an agreement with the DOE to give Principals a financial incentive to hire some of the 1,740 ATRs for classroom positions. I admit I was all for the agreement since the Principals can get an experienced teacher for a minimal cost. What Principal wouldn't want an experienced teacher in the classroom? It made sense that Principals would want an experienced teacher to improve their test scores. It is all about the children, right? Wrong? many Principals still rather hire a "newbie" teacher with no classroom experience than an experienced ATR with good management skills.
Today's New York Daily News reported that only 16 ATRs have been hired to fill a classroom vacancy since the November 2008 agreement while 295 "newbie" teachers have filled the rest.The reason it is not about the children but about the Principal. Many of the Principals, especially the Leadership Academy Principals, would rather have inexperienced teachers who when told to jump responds "how high" rather than an experienced teacher that might say "why"? Further, many of the younger Principals are intimidated by the experienced teachers and refuse to hire them. Finally, ageism is also a part of the equation as many Principals discriminate against the older teacher and don't want them in their schools.
The union's ATR agreement with the DOE should have resulted in over 300 ATR offered a position in the classroom. Instead the Principals continue to fail to do what's best for their students and hire inexperienced teachers who take years to develop effective classroom skills. Unfortunately, "Children Last" continues.