Saturday, April 04, 2009
Why Are The Principals Not Hiring The ATRs For The Classroom? Its About The Control Stupid!
Once again our union was shocked that after negotiating an agreement with the DOE to give Principals a financial incentive to hire ATRs for classroom vacancies in November of 2008. Instead of hiring experienced ATRs for these classroom positions, the Principals hired "newbie teachers" for 95% of the openings. The Daily News reported that of the 311 vacancies only 16 ATRs were hired, compared to the 295 "newbie teachers" to fill the positions.
The union had negotiated in "good faith" with the DOE and thought it had a "win-win" proposal that would reward Principals who filled a classroom position with an experienced ATR and get a financial benefit to the school's budge. Granted, Tweed did not require the Principals to hire the ATRs and they could hire whomever they wanted. However, what Principal would not want to hire an experienced, veteran teacher while only paying a salary of a beginning teacher of $45,530? Further, if the fit was good for both the ATR and the Principal, Tweed would reimburse the school half the teachers salary ($22,765) for the first year. Even a skeptic like myself thought the union finally got one right. Wrong!
Little did I know that the Principals prized their control over the staff above the financial aspects of the school. In fact, the Principals attached so much importance to having total control that parent concerns and student academics were secondary to their goal of having complete control over the school. These Principals want a teacher to say "how high" when told to jump not "why"? How can a Principal justify hiring a "newbie teacher" with little knowledge in the curriculum and classroom management over an experienced teacher for the same price? Because the DOE said they can. This anti-educational practice can only be achieved if Tweed privately encouraged the Principals not to hire the ATRs, either through communications with the District Superintendents or the Lead Instructional Supervisors. Obviously, the Principals were given the green light to hire the "newbie teachers".
Unfortunately, the union has continuously failed to point out how this policy affects student learning to the newspapers and the newscasts. Why, has the union not brought up the Principal school control issue as a cause against student learning? You need to go ask them. The Tweed policy of encouraging the Principals to hire "newbie teachers" hurts the student's academics and is consistent with Tweed's "Children Last" program. Its too bad the union allows this to continue unchallenged.