Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Finally, At Least One Journalist Got It Right About Why Principals Won't Hire ATRs - Its About The Money!
I was pleasantly surprised when I read Charkbeat and saw the article Geoff Decker wrote about the contract negotiations that also included the ATR issue. While he didn't specifically identify the "fair student funding" as the culprit, the article did show that principals took money into account in their hiring decisions and that the DOE budgeting was the cause. This is the first article I have read where the money equation was factored into a school's hiring decision. The Chalkbeat article also referenced my blog where I explained why principals hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" and you can find it here.
The Chalkbeat article was fair and presented both sides of the ATR issue and to me that is real journalism, not he ideological attacks the ATRs have faced from the City newspapers who still blindly follow the Bloomberg line of a corporate model that has shown to have failed when it comes to public education. Moreover, these very same newspapers always seem to ignore how a "newbie teacher", with a steep learning curve ahead, is good for student academic achievement. I guess, for them its "don't let the facts get in the way of a fairy tale" that the Bloomberg administration's "education on the cheap" policy is good for student outcomes.
Interestingly, according to the article, the City has not asked for an ATR time limit in their negotiations but are trying to work out an arrangement with the union to get the ATRs back into the classroom. This will make the corporate education reform groups and their media allies very unhappy but putting the ATRs back into the classroom will be what's best for the students. To counter the building seniority issue, the ATR will be picked up "provisionally" for the first year and if the ATR and the Principal both agree, the ATR is appointed for the second year and gains his or her building seniority.
Back to the money issue. Maybe our union needs to be be more proactive and explain how the DOE budgeting system works against students having the "quality teachers" they deserve not the "inexperienced teachers" that principals are hiring which is not in the best interests of student academic achievement.