We all know that the deal between UFT President Randi Weingarten and Chancellor Joel Klein that resulted in the infamous 2005 contract resulted in the ATR crises that has lasted for seven years. Randi's "deal with the devil" has resulted in over 2,000 teachers being displaced, ever larger class sizes, and more overcrowded classrooms throughout the City. When you hear from the UFT leadership they claim that once Mayor Bloomberg leaves office, the ATR crises will disappear. However, I am not entirely confident that the UFT leadership can be trusted to do the right thing.
Over the last couple of years I watched how principals failed to hire ATRs even when there are vacancies in their schools. These principals would rather hire teachers who are not certified in the subject area rather than hire an ATR. I will give you two examples of this.
Example 1: Queens Vocational High School had four Earth Science openings in the 2012-13 school year but according the Principal she could only find one teacher to hire. Really? I did apply to Queens Vocational High School that year on the Open Market Transfer System and NEVER RECEIVED A RESPONSE!!!! My colleague told me that he never received a "mandatory interview request" from Queens Vocational during the school year as he traveled from school to school. for the 2012-13 school year. How do I know that the school needed four Earth Science teachers, the Principal Melissa Burg admitted it to New York 1!!!!
The question is if there were between 12 to 15 Earth Science classes without a certified Earth Science teacher teaching the students, who taught them? My best guess is that it were Living Environment (Biology) teachers and this summer when I marked the Earth Science Regents I met one of them and he told me that they only had one licensed Earth Science teacher and that the other teachers had to split their schedule between the two sciences. Is Queens Vocational High School an exception? I fear not, its more common then you might think.
Example 2: Richmond Hill High School during the 2011-12 school year had 16, yes 16 Earth Science classes being taught by teachers not certified in Earth Science. In fact two Living Environment teachers were teaching full Earth Science programs with a math teacher given two classes of Earth Science!
In the second example I notified two bloggers who also are Chapter Leaders who passed this information to both the District Representative and the UFT Leadership. The result? No action whatsoever. Did the union leadership even bother to alert the DOE that these schools were violating the collective bargaining contract? Maybe they did, or maybe they didn't bother?
It matters little because our union seems to be in collusion with the DOE and violations of the contract results in no
action or remediation as the over 2,000 displaced teachers are sent weekly to "babysit" for absent teachers while "uncertified newbies" are gobbled up by principals who care more about their budget then having a properly certified and quality teacher in the classroom..
"Children first"? not according to these principals who rather have inexpensive "newbies" than quality teachers. Why does the UFT and the DOE ignore the apparent violations of the collective bargaining contract, you need to ask them.