Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Will Joel Klein Give In And Remove The Hiring Freeze So That Principals Can Hire "Newbie Teachers"?


It has been two weeks since the citywide ATR job fair has been held and I do not know of any ATRs in Queens who were offered positions for the vacancies that number over a thousand citywide. Some of these ATRs are great teachers and should have been snapped up. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the principals are just going through the motions by interviewing ATRs for their vacancies and claiming that the ATRs are not appropriate for the teaching positions. It is quite obvious to me the principals are hoping that before the October 30th deadline when the money for the vacancy is removed from the school, budget one of three things will happen.

Exemption Waiver: Many of the principals showed up to the ATR job fair to only reject the ATRs and use those rejections to apply for an exemption and obtain a waiver to hire a "newbie teacher". Over 125 such waivers have already been approved by Tweed and more are being considered daily. This was first reported by Anna Phillips of Gotham News and the ATR job fair is the first step for a Principal to obtain an exemption.

Newbie Special Education Teachers: The hiring of "newbie" special education teachers and using them for mainstream classroom teachers. It appears some principals have hired "newbie" special education teachers, where there is no hiring freeze, and are using them as long-term subs or even as mainstream classroom teachers. How widespread this is is now being investigated by the UFT. I will be very interested in the union's findings.

Hiring Freeze: Many principals are still holding out hope that Joel Klein will end the hiring freeze in October and there is some reason to believe that this is not just wishful thinking. However, given the economy and budget restraints, there is probably less than a 50% chance of the hiring freeze being lifted. There is a better chance for the freeze to be lifted for math and foreign language teachers in specific locations before October 30th..

Time will tell how successful the principals will be in getting Tweed to allow them to hire who they want. Remember it is not about the children, it is about the Principa's power. Children last continues going strong.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole Hiring Freeze is a LIE. I have 2 licences: Special Education and ESL. I applied to all the schools in my district and did not get a single interview.

Anonymous said...

MY AP tried to hire spec ed teacher for vacancy in my department. He bragged about how smart he was and I reported him to our CL who stopped him dead in his tracks.

Anonymous said...

Where do they have shortage in Special Education that I could not find a job. I don't understand how they lifted the Hiring Freeze in this area when there are many fully licenced excessed teachers waiting for a job.

Anonymous said...

Such waivers were used at my Queens school too. And where is the union on this????

Anonymous said...

You mean the folks who signed this unenforceable agreement? To be fair to DOE, the agreement actually notes its own unenforceability. Seems the UNITY folks didn't know....didn't care...why bother.

Anonymous said...

You are completely right. The UFT DOES NOT CARE WHETHER YOU HAVE A JOB.

Chaz said...

I agree that the union has so far failed to bring this problem to the attention of the media.

I also am waiting for Amy Arandel's report and what action will be taken when principals were found to go around the hiring freeze.

fred said...

I am an ATR with 17 years in the DOE, assigned to a classroom that I would like to keep. It is listed as a vacancy. How long do I stay an ATR? Does the school save money by keeping me as an ATR or hiring me? I am showing up on their payroll too.

And can you clarify(edspeak) how the 10/30 deadline will effect me? Are all ATR's assigned to a school?
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

ATRs whose salaries come from DOE central are FREE to the school, so principals do not have any insentive to hire them. What is more, it seems that the principals act like the MOB within a District that has ATRs paid by central. Principals talk to each other and ATRS do not find jobs in the in the Dist. because they (ATRs) are a GIFT. If ATRs are paid with the school budget, then principals may hire the ATRS that are in that school.

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to many about the ATR status, and was officially one when my school was phased out and unofficially one when the school roster shrank dramatically one semester and I had only one class assigned to me and sub/covered the rest of the day. This is what I learned. If you are being paid by your school then you are not OFFICIALLY an ATR. You must have been given a re-assignment letter that is roughly 4-5 pages long with copies to 3 or 4 different DOE officers. It includes all sorts of info on job searching aid etc. And it ends with an official statement of where you must report for ATR duty and on what date that duty assignment begins. That is also the date on which you are removed from the school's galaxy budget (which are available on line and you should look at them for your school, esp. previous years). I know of teachers who were verbally told they are ATRs but they are not, when they investigate the situation more fully. Many have found that out when they have a job offer and are then told they can't be hired because of the current freeze. We need to report any irregularities to the UFT because they are keeping track. And the idea of district is already dead so start thinking of the entire city as your possible employment zone. I have heard stories of abuses, and stories of principals and schools that are following the rules very strictly because of the possible investigation of every potential hire. The waivers were supposed to be granted only to those schools that attended the job fair and not a single applicant in license sought them out. I have heard that this was abused but also situations of hard to staff schools/districts where this was true in the "shortage" areas. I think there needs to be some independent investigation or oversight which might have been the city advocate or comptroller except this is an election year, so politics is clouding true governance.

fred said...

Thanks for the response: I did receive an ATR Placement letter, three pages long, the last page telling me my assignment for 9/25, which was two days after the hiring fair that I attented. However, I was transferred by the Director of HR at the fair. Never met the school representative for the new placement and was told when I reported at the new school that I was filling a vacancy. Prior to this I was covering another vacancy at a different school.
The last page of the letter emailed to me states that I must a report to hiring fairs when directed and I will perform sub duties, although I have a regular program. Also, it states that this will change only if I receive new instructions from ISC/CFN HR. In other words my assignment can be changed at any time?
My principal said that I will love it so much at the new school that I will be begging her to stay. I won't be on my knees any time soon. What's up? Thanks. Fred

Anonymous said...

Galling! Just galling. This week a newbie appears. And she's given a full schedule. Meanwhile I'm waiting for an assignment in my license area. Both I and another ATR are deprived of the opportunity to teach in our license. Instead, we are given non-instructional duties, as though we are poison.
A twenty-something fresh out of ed school, unfamiliar with Brooklyn fills the position. Let's see how she manages the classes; let's see how she teaches. The DoE put the experienced and expensive teacher is bad thought into the principals' heads and they hire teachers with no experience in preparing students for Regents tests or in marking Regents.
That ATR job fair was all an act, all a show.
I doubt that my chapter leader would stand up to the principal on this. I hope that Mulgrew stands up on this issue.

Chaz said...

aNON: This is not about what is good for the children but about the Principal.

Fred:

I am confused about whether you were given a real vacancy or just filling one temporarily?

fred said...

Chaz, The principal told me I was filling a vacancy, as did HR. Nobody mentioned temporary. I feel like I'm somehow getting screwed. How can I find out the truth? Like he's holding it for someone else? I am filling a gym vacancy that is mandated by the state and in addition he told me I am to do lunch duty twice per week. I said we don't do that anymore and he told me I volunteered! I guess it's like stay here or throw your fate to the wind. The Chapter leader is new and senior teachers I spoke to were surprised, but a fairly new teacher is also doing it. Yikes! Thanks, Fred

Anonymous said...

This is anon again, myself & another in same license, pushed aside by newbie. This extra dutie + new chapter leader thing sounds familiar. We get prof duties during preps, we have conferences and PD during lunch. Block scheduling means that a few teachers work four in a row. And nobody talks about grieving.
The staff is about three years 3 years (I'm estimating by their youth) or less, and they're in a highly concessionary mindset.
UFT district leaders should come around and audit the goings on.
Anon ATR in Brooklyn school

Anonymous said...

REVISION with correction:
This is anon again, myself & another in same license, pushed aside by newbie. This extra duties (as in Fred's lunchroom "volunteering") plus new chapter leader thing sounds familiar. We get prof duties during preps, we have conferences and PD during lunch. Block scheduling means that a few teachers work four in a row. And nobody talks about grieving.
The staff is about three-fourths 3 years (I'm estimating by their youth) or less, and they're in a highly concessionary mindset.
UFT district leaders should come around and audit the goings on.
Anon in Brooklyn school

Chaz said...

Th only way to clarify the issues is for the union to take an active role. I wuld call Amy Arandel at UFT headquatrs and see if she can help you.


Fred: It looks to me that next school year if the freeze is removed expect the Principal to send you back to the ATR pool. I hope I am wrong on this but Principals want to control teachers and newbie teachers are easier to control.

NY_I said...

The patterns at the large schools-transformed-into-small schools disclose why arts, phys ed and so many other positions are vanishing in the new system under Klein. I've assessed the connection between the school break-ups and the pushing aside of non-core subjects. I've written at length about this at my latest blog post: http://nycityeye.blogspot.com/2009/10/shame-of-city-iv-in-small-school-longer.html
This is a shameful trend that is impacting minority neighborhoods.
Thanks, Chaz for adding my site to your side bar. Your posts are absolutely essential reading, even if depressing :(

Chaz said...

NY 1:

My site was supposed to be enlightening not depressing. However, the truth is the truth and I will continue to post how I feel and any information that teachers need to know.