Saturday, August 01, 2009
When A Hiring Freeze Is Not Really A Hiring Freeze - Tweed Allows Principals To Hire More "Newbie Teachers" As The ATR Ranks Continue To Increase
During the month of July, Tweed, despite Chancellor Joel Klein's e-mail message to the Principals, has loosened the hiring restrictions from a total hiring freeze (except for the new small schools) to allowing schools to hire Science and Special Education teachers. Eventually, I look for Joel Klein to also allow the hiring of Math teachers as the Open Market System ends next week. It was only in the late Spring when the Chancellor told the Principals that they must hire from the excessed teacher list, "no exceptions", However, I was told by some Principals that they were privately informed from top administrators that they should "sit tight" if they were unhappy with the hiring freeze since it was likely that Tweed would either rescind or loosen the hiring freeze by mid-August. I even wrote about this in a previous post. Would Chancellor Joel Klein lie about enforcing the hiring freeze for the 2009-10 school year? Apparently he did. Why else were principals told by their supervisors not to panic and wait out the hiring freeze?. It might have been wishful thinking on the part of the administrators. However, I believe that somebody knew something and it usually comes from the top, in this case Chancellor Joel Klein.
A little History is needed here. Joel Klein notified Principals of the hiring freeze on May 6th and this was reported by both Gotham News and the New York Times. However, given the lack of respect that Bloomberg and Klein have for excessed teachers and the vile propaganda from Tweed and their media puppets that convinced many a Principal not to consider an ATR for the vacancies. The result was the schools were not actively recruiting the ATRs. I also posted an article on how many of the Principals feel about the ATRs.
Now, after the budget cuts and the lack of hiring existing ATRs, there are now 2,340 excessed teachers without a classroom. This does not include the approximately 800 "rubber room" teachers where 90% will eventually find themselves as ATRs during this or the next school year. According to the DOE there are 2,400 teacher vacancies. However, many of these vacancies are in schools that have one or more of the following problems. High teacher turnover, lack of enforcement of student discipline codes, bad neighborhoods, no parking, or have "principals from hell" (the UFT call them PINI principals). Therefore, the ATRs are unwilling to place their health and safety with these schools. Look for the ATR ranks to go down but I suspect that by the beginning of the 2009-10 school year the ATR ranks to be close to 1500 as Principals are reluctant to hire them and the ATRs will opt not to go to schools that can jeopardize their teaching career.