This week selected guidance counselors have received e-maIls from the DOE asking them if they want to be placed in one school for the rest of the school year. Interestingly, the DOE email didn't say anything about being placed in their District or in their grade level. However, this is an acknowledgement that the DOE is starting to think about what's best for the students and not the previous ideological policy that made the guidance counselors go weekly to different schools that didn't benefit anybody. Add this to the CSA winning a grievance that stopped the DOE from rotating Assistant Principals monthly and we are now seeing a slow transition away from the useless and self destructive ATR rotation system.
I predict that the excessed teachers will all be "placed" in their District schools in September as there is an average of 5,000 vacancies that will allow for almost all of the 2,000 plus ATRs to fill a vacancy. Without the ideological reason to waste $160 million dollars annually it makes little sense not to place the ATRs. There will be some exceptions where the ATR has an obsolete or specialty license. In those cases, the UFT and DOE should arrange for training to have these teachers get a subject license and become a "push in" or second teacher in a class until they are properly credentialed.
For this program to work the following issues must be resolved. First, the "fair student funding formula" must be eliminated and the teacher salary reverts back to a "unit" . The DOE pays for all teachers not the school as it presently does. This eliminates the incentive for the Principal to hire the :cheapest" teacher and they can now hire the "best" teachers for the classroom. Second, the DOE must impose a strict and complete "hiring freeze" until all the ATRs in their District are placed. Any Principal caught hiding a vacancy will have the vacancy removed from the school and receive a "disciplinary letter" for educational malfeasance. To minimize "forced placements", the principals will be allowed to interview up to five ATRs in seniority order of that content specialty and must decide on the one that best fits the school culture. To ensure the Principal is playing by the rules, failure to select one of the five ATRs will result in the school losing the vacancy for the school year., Finally, all ATRs hired should receive a "provisional contract" that allows both the teacher and Principal decide if "its a good fit". Once both sides agree, the teacher will be automatically appointed and gain their building seniority. In no case can the school and teacher sign a second "provisional contract" the following year.
Its common knowledge that the City and UFT will finalize a contract by June 30th. Therefore, if the UFT insists on these few simple requirements, the schools will be getting an influx of experienced teachers, many of them "quality teachers" that will help reduce the inequity of teachers in the school system and reduce class size. To me its a win-win no matter how one looks at it.