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Friday, May 15, 2015
The Thinning Of The Herd Against ATRs Are Beginning.
I have been called by a couple of panicky ATRs who have told me that they were served with their 3020-a papers this week. In all the cases they are being charged with incompetence as they received two consecutive "unsatisfactory" ratings for the 2013-14 and apparently the 2014-15 school years, even though the year is not yet over.
In all the cases two different field supervisors have rated the ATRs as "unsatisfactory" and will claim that they offered a "plan of assistance" at the teacher's 3020-a hearing. However, the field supervisors "plan of assistance" is simply a piece of paper and offers little real assistance to a teacher that rotates into different schools weekly, or monthly and who knows little of the students they are supposed to instruct. Moreover, since the ATR has no ownership of the class or their grades, many students in poorly performing schools (and there are many) simply refuse to follow directions, knowing there is no consequence for their refusal to do the work. Even the best teachers put into the position of the ATR would have trouble maintaining stringent classroom management and getting all the students to follow directions.
Now these poor souls will be put through the 3020-a process during the 2015-16 school year and if my suspicions are correct, will be in great danger of being terminated by the new, more stringent 3020-a procedures against educators currently being implemented by the DOE and UFT, where the burden of proof appears to shift from the DOE and to the teacher in a secret February 24, 2015 meeting as reported by Betsy Combier in her blog.
While I believe even under the newly tweaked and less favorable 3020-a process, it still will be difficult to terminate these teachers since the teacher can show that the "plan of assistance" was simply a ploy and lacked real substance in helping the ATR to become a better teacher. Hopefully, the NYSUT attorneys will aggressively blow gaping holes in the bogus "plan of assistance" and bring out the problems of instructing a class that you don't even know the names of the students to save these ATRs who are charged with incompetence their jobs and the retro pay they are entitled to.
The DOE's goal for 'thinning of the herd"of the ATR pool is now in overdrive and we can expect many more horror stories of ATRs being served with their 3020-a charges until the end of the school year.