Friday, March 21, 2014

The Union Needs To Take A Stand Against The Unfair ATR Field Supervisor Observations.



























Previously, I wrote an article claiming that the DOE took an ATR field supervision pilot program in Brooklyn and extended it throughout the City which has resulted in many unfair "U observations" to ATRs.  When I first wrote the article I was only hearing rumors of some ATRs getting "U observations" and likely "U ratings".  Now I have been hearing numerous complaints about how the ATR field supervisors are observing teachers not in their content specialty or in classes that the ATR meets for the first time.  How unfair is that!.  Worse yet, some ATRs are being given "letters to their file"  by these very same field supervisors.  How can an ATR, who has no ownership of the students be observed?  Furthermore, how do you develop an improvement plan when the ATR is constantly rotating?

This week I was in a school that is considered to have poor academic issues and behavioral problems.  The other ATR I was with told me that his field supervisor, a retired Principal, was coming to observe him.  I told him that I didn't think it was a good idea for him to be observed in this school considering what we experienced there.  He assured me that the field supervisor was fair and would make sure he had one of the better classes to observe him in.  Yeah right, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

The day of the observation came and the field supervisor selected the 8th period class full of "out of control" 9th graders.  To make matters even worse, the ATR field supervisor told the classroom teacher to leave telling the classroom teacher, "I want to see how he handles the class without you there".  That's right the teacher was dumped into a class that the teacher never had before and was supposed to control a bunch of rowdy 9th graders as if he was their classroom teacher.

The result was that students walked around the room, walked out the door without permission, and took their cellphones out to text message or listen to music.  No matter what the ATR did, the students wouldn't listen to him.  After, the class was over, the field supervisor curtly told the ATR "you will be hearing from me next week".  He expects he will receive a "U observation" and a likely "U rating".  Interestingly. the next day the classroom teacher heard about the class behavior and told them how disappointed she was in them.  She told the students that the ATR was being observed and you probably hurt his chances to teach again.  The students were very remorseful and even the "knuckleheads" were sorry they acted badly.  However, the damage was done and now this ATR, who was set up by the field supervisor, will have to fight hard not to get a "U rating".

Why doesn't our union file a PERB complaint and expedited grievance to put a stop to this transitivity?  Is this the union's attempt to encourage ATR's to retire?  James Eterno in the ICEblog explained how useless the union was when he wanted to take a "U observation"  case further.  President Michael Mulgrew claims he sees a change in tone at the DOE.   Really?  I must be tone deaf since to me its the same old "gotcha game" practiced by the very same people who were in power during the vindictive Bloomberg/Klein/Walcott administration.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks to me on the sidelines here in New Jersey that the UFT and the NTU are working hand in hand with the "reformers" to purge the systems of veteran teachers. If you think I am too cynical Chaz, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew is just as disrespectful to us as the field supervisors. The leadership of the union is just as responsible for the poor working conditions as the DOE.

Anonymous said...

Fn incredible...teachers need to wise up and all kick I to a kitty to retain top legal talent, outside the "union" , for,outrages like this. Isn't,this some type of winning lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

perfect blog! right on - we must get rid of this travesty - the atr field supervisors are beyond horrendous and terrible - they are terrible people who do terrible things to good people and they should all be put in a padded room to rate each other. the union needs to do something fast - stark is ruining people's lives

Anonymous said...

did you see this??

http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2014/03/20/farinas-message-on-atr-pool-no-forced-placement/

Anonymous said...

Enough of this ATR crap!! 98% of the teaching force are not ATR's. Dump the 2% or fix the problem to get them working again, so they can quit once given an assignment.

Anonymous said...

If they did that to me...I'd be making sure Mikey Mulgrew heard about this loud and clear...in ANY way possible-as in going up,to the UFT main offices and giving them ALL an earful...he would hear MY voice directly...I'll tell u that....

Anonymous said...

You keep saying that Civil Service Law will not allow a time limit but how was it allowed in Washington DC?

Anonymous said...

Give us the name of this supervisor! Who is he. The more we know about them the better we can defend our selves. We need to blog the names of these supervisors and what they say and do! Who is this supervisor you speak of!?? Name him!

Chaz said...

Anon 9:24

NYS Civil Service l;aw is different from Washington D.C. and Chicago and would require the State legislature to change it. The Democratic controlled Assembly will never do that.

Anonymous said...

what if any are your thoughts on what Farina wants to do with us? I am anxious to hear what you will discuss at the ATR meeting.

Anonymous said...

what exactly does this law state? Possible they will do something to get around it? They are snakes.

Anonymous said...

Now I get why these field supervisors are giving out "U" ratings like candy on Halloween. Speaking of why the union allowed the ATR pool to be created: There's no way to divine the answer to that question. In all likelihood the United Federation of Teachers knows that no matter how much ink is spent reviling them; no arbitrator would overturn the civil service laws and allow unassigned teachers who otherwise have satisfactory performance records be fired.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, check out the following links. They may give a clue to some legal methods by which the problem of these worthless observations can be dealt with.

www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals

www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/faqs.htm

www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/instruction.htm

www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/Forms.htm

www.counsel.nysed.gov/Decisions

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/CVP/78

Anonymous said...

anyone can become an atr. cant agree with dumping hard working professional educators. wise up anonymous 8:57 you may become an atr someday and would want the rights you have earned. shameful comment!!!!! karma is coming for you!

Anonymous said...

Justin Stark is a the terrible field supervisor that is making people miserable and jeopardizing our careers and our health from the stress that he is causing us- 8:57 you are a terrible person and you deserve to be rated as we are - you would definitely be u rated -

Bronx ATR said...

To 8:57,
You're envious of ATRs. We're better paid, more experienced and don't have to kiss anyone's ass. Someday, when you're teaching for over 20 years, you may meet a moron, (such as yourself), as you wander around with your coat in hand ,looking for a friendly face and learn a little humility.

Chaz said...

Anon 8:57

Its teachers like you who are part of the problem. Rather than understanding that its the DOE policy is to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" is the issue.

Stop blaming the ATRs for bad DOE policy.

Anonymous said...

Not understanding why if you're not an ATR why you are reading ATR blogs? Anon 8:57

Chaz said...

That's not fair. My blog is about everything in NYC education not just the ATR issue. An intelligent person reads all and forms an opinion.

Anon 8:57 has every right to his or her opinion, even if we don't agree with it.

Anonymous said...

karma for anoy 8:57

Anonymous said...

My problem with this article and atrs in general is that all atrs are the same. An atr became that way either through doing something illegal or being ineffective.....to that group......you need to go and be gone with you.

To the atrs that are atrs because of phase out schools, i feel sorry for and should be looked at and treated differently by the city than those i mentioned above.

Chaz said...

Anon 3:38

You must be a "Leadership Academy Principal" since no real educator who understands how the DOE works know that many teachers charged with misconduct or were deemed "ineffective" by vindictive principals to be found not so by independent State arbitrators who when presented with the evidence or a lack of evidence found these teachers worthy to be teaching in a classroom.

Its too bad we are stuck with principals like you who believe the false statement under the Bloomberg/Klein/Walcott administration that ATRs are "bad teachers".

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57 here. Had the pleasure if speaking with 2 ATR's assigned to my school yesterday. Fantastic conversation, mostly them laughing and telling me how awesome it is to be an ATR and how they will never have a real teaching program again. We laughed, they were almost crying from laughing so hard. One had a coverage before 10 am and then a coverage the last period of the day, online entertainment in between the rest of day. The other ATR was a female in leather pants who would never be hired, a true ATR just getting over with her $100,049 salary. She was great to talk to. She had no assignment all day and told me she didn't even show up on Tuesday last week and didn't even call out or anything. She had a very nice sewing kit and was doing some type of patch work for several hours. She told me she could retire but the money for seeing in a teacher lounge was just to good to give up. She informed she would retire the day she received a real teaching assignment. ATR's can never go back into a classroom, they'd be shell shocked.

Anonymous said...

What about Jeffrey Winograd, Brooklyn Field Supervisor? Really nasty, no respect, doesn't care that ATRs are in schools with criminal students. "Just teach a lesson or you have no classroom management."

Chaz said...

Anon 8:57

Unfortunately, there are some ATRs who do act and feel that way. That's the reason that ATRs should be placed back in the classroom where they belong. If they don't want to teach, they can always retire.

BronxATR said...

To 8:57,
Sounds like you enjoyed they're company. So why all the animosity. Would you have those ATR stand a corner dressed in sackcloth, with ATR tattooed on their foreheads and their thumbs up their asses. It bothers you they dress well, laugh, are well paid and given little to do. That my putrid fellow is called envy.

Anonymous said...

First of all many ATRs are teaching in provisional long term assignments and we still know how to teach! And why shouldn't these ATRs wait and see what is going on with $$ before they retire? You'd do the same ANON 8:57. And a teacher can't wear leather pants? But it's ok for the newbies to come dressed in jeans and sneakers? Spare me.

Anonymous said...

Karma! Some atr's became atr's because of the 12 yrs of gotcha education. Anoy 8:57 it can happen to you. Don't be so confident that someday when your making over 100,000 a yr and the city wants to get rid of you the powers in charge don't fabricate something on you. I've seen it happen to many teachers in the past decade. Unless things change you can be on the wrong side of the administration and be brought up on some stupid charge and no union to protect you. Good luck my arrogant friend.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, i am anon 338

Actually i am not even a principal. Although i think its sad that it seems anyone who disagrees with you is either a leadership principal or someone hired to write on your post. You preach having an open mind.....maybe its time to listen to our own advice.

Chaz said...

Anon 3:38

Let me remind you of your words " "the ATRs became that way for doing something illegal or being ineffective". No teacher would use that language. Maybe you're not a Principal but certainly not a teacher.

Many of the ATRs were falsely accused or deemed incompetent by vindictive principals but were cleared by independent arbitrators, based on the evidence.

Its narrow minded people like you who inhabit the halls of Tweed and DOE Central that are the problem and I hope you are swept out with the rest of the trash when the Chancellor does her spring cleaning.

Anonymous said...

FariƱa's comments quoted in Chalk Beat and also cited by Unity's Ed in the Apple should make everyone take notice. The Chancellor has no plans to place any of us. It may be a negotiating ploy or maybe the Chicago solution is still on the table (fire us after five months). I know you are going to tell me that would require a change in state law but if our union agrees, they will change the law in a half a second.

Chaz said...

Its not only our union but they would have to convince the other unions to allow the change and that'
s not happening because it would allow all municipalities to set up their own excess pool of senior people and terminate them in a year.

Anonymous said...

Once again chaz you are wrong......i am an teacher for 10 years in a well developed school. I have had nothing but great ratings and my student perform near the top if not the top every year at my school. I did this by hard work. I did this by doing by job. Stop grouping these atrs into one category when they should be treated on individual cases. I have met my share of good, hard working atrs as well as those that should have been out of the system a long time ago.

Using people as scapegaoats is wrong. To say the system is flawed is probably true but i have yet to hear you actuallly give a fair resolution. To just put ALL the atrs back into classrooms is wrong and unjust. Just like to say all teacher are effective or all adminstrators are effective is inaccurate.

Stop looking for your scapgoats and putting people into categories. Instead come up with a fair rating system for all regardless if you are a first year teacher or 30 yr old teacher. I like your blogs, and respect your views on many fronts. In my opinion you are wrong when you group the atrs into one category and you are wrong when you assume someone is something that they are not..........i guess with your accusation on me are the same actions you speak of when it comes to leadership principals or field admins.......yet you did the exact same thing. Stop the contradiction.

Anonymous said...

The open market listings are coming out in about 3 weeks or so. Do they list opportunities to become an ATR? I'd love to apply for an ATR position. Ha haha haaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe the chic in the leather pants sewing patches in the lounge in Friday at $100,049. Any dope actually teaching a full program pulling their hair out, getting blasted by the Danielson framework, apply for an ATR job and get paid the same to hang out in various lounges every 2 weeks. I mean you can't make this up! 6 figure salaries for this? Hysterical! I guess very depressing if you're not near retirement but if you are, congratulations. You're a genius!!!!
Sincerely,
Anon 8:57

Anonymous said...

The leadership academy principals are taping and reporting every speech, meeting or memo that Farina has to the NY Post. Today's article on student suicides is the second known incident , (the first being ATRs will be placed - then the Post reported "bad" teachers going back to the classroom). It's time for Farina to clean house before one of them seriously damages her effectiveness as a chancellor.

Anonymous said...

The union leadership needs to wake up. This is a gross travesty and needs to be stopped. Mulgrew is far from a being a true union leader who cares about the membership and allows our rights to be violated.

Chaz said...

Anon 8:48

I never heard a teacher use the words "illegal" for misconduct. I also question your credentials when you put anybody charged by the DOE as being unworthy of placement even when the 3020-a arbitrator found no wrongdoing based upon the charge.

Sure there are some ATRs who don't deserve to be in the classroom, just as there some teachers and principals that don't make the grade. I'm glad you're a great teacher but how can you tell if the ATRs are great teachers without giving them a chance?

Your solution to have all "illegal" and "ineffective" charged ATRs never to have their own classroom is the TWEED mindset that is what I expect from the DOE leadership.

Anonymous said...

Karma to the arrogant individual who works in a great school. Be grateful you work in such an environment. Most of us work in very challenging schools and work as hard as you. Our results aren't equal and by that we are rated ineffective. Stop your bull crap before you truly regret your position. 20yrs in the system and my school closed. Is it my fault i'm an atr. You would say I should have transferred out early but what school wants to take on my salary. I tried to transfer but nobody even responded. What a joke. All my experience and for nothing!! I was better off having less than 5yrs in the system. Teachers with a few yrs in don't question anything the boss says. This is a very common story my arrogant friend. Wise up arrogant teacher. Most atr's have the same story or falsely accused by the principal because of economics or you questioned something at the school. The doe doesn't like people questioning them and if you do your out!! You must be smart enough to figure out by now its not about education but about ECONOMICS and POWER! If you want I can give you a smart board lesson on this topic. Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) would most likely exhibit interest in the ATR situation.

www.perb.ny.gov/index.asp

www.perb.ny.gov/Staff.asp

The Chairperson is Jerome Lefkowitz, the Executive Director is Anthony Zumbolo, and the Chief Regional Director of the Brooklyn Office is Kim Moore-Ward.

Chaz, it might be productive if you were to have a conference call with all three of them in order to clue them in as to the "truth" (whatever that may be) about the ATR situation.

You could have some ATRs ready and waiting to be added to the call to provide specific information as to how ATRs are utilized in the schools that they've worked in.

This would also be an appropriate occasion to discuss the issue of nasty, abusive field supervisors.

Anonymous said...

I recieved a U observation and was told the reasons being were that the students did not complete the assessment, nor did they return it to me. I had never seen the students before that day and it was a team teaching setting and the other teacher was present and all to no avail. The field supervisor failed to listen to any questions that dealt with logic or the real world. I am grieving the observation.