Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Why The Open Market Transfer System Is A Joke.
Today is the final day for teachers to look for vacancies under the Open Market Transfer System (OMTS) and just like the last few years, the OMTS is simply a joke when it comes to veteran teachers. Only young and inexperienced (especially untenured) teachers are hired through the OMTS. With few exceptions teachers with ten or more years experience have little or no chance to even get an interview for these vacancies. Many of my colleagues applied to various positions only to get no response from the schools except for the required notification that the school received the application.
I spoke to a friend who is an Assistant Principal and he told me that the principals are encouraged by the DOE to hire "newbies" whenever possible to reduce their staff budget costs and to find any reason possible not to interview ATRs. Moreover, the DOE and the UFT has done little to enforce the ATR Agreement and that has added to the problems for veteran ATRs. It matters little how effective a teacher is, its all about how much will the teacher cost the school and that is reflected in the OTMS hiring practices.
Even in hard to staff shortage areas like Special Education,ESL and Earth Science, the DOE allows the schools to bypass the available ATRs and hire "newbies", some not even certified! Yes that's true, the Assistant Principal I spoke to told me that he was instructed by his Principal to do just that. Why does our union leadership stay silent when the DOE continues to abuse the process? I wish I knew but its obvious that the union leadership considers the ATR issue a low priority and they have other issues on the table to deal with.
The DOE's motto is "children first.....Always" but in reality its not about whats best for the students but pure and simple discrimination against veteran teachers who were excessed. In effect its really "children last" as principals, with the encouragement of the DOE, rather hire inexperienced "newbies" than "quality teachers".