Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fair Student Funding And The ATRs.



























During the October information meetings the UFT leadership would repeat time and again that the Fair Student Funding (fsf) was not responsible for the failure of principals to pick up ATRs since the ATRs are picked up by the school for the average teacher salary in the first year and for free the second year, if they are appointed!  If that was all this was to it, principals would be fighting to hire the ATR but of course they are not.  However, there is more to the hiring process than the union leadership was willing to disclose at the meetings and deliberately failed to explain or address this to the members.

First, the present ATR agreement is only valid till 2018.  In fact, if either the DOE or UFT wants to change or discontinue the present ATR agreement, next school year (2016-17), it reverts back to the 2007 contract which forces schools to include the appointed ATR's salary in their average school payroll, which is subject to the fsf.

Second, the ATR agreement will have to be renegotiated in 2018 and depending on the political situation, will determine how the ATR agreement will change.  That could mean that the principals who were assured by the DOE and UFT that any ATR they appointed would not cost them more than the average teacher salary could find themselves responsible for the entire ATR salary going forward.  If you ask principals if they trust the DOE to keep their side of the bargain, almost universally they will tell you no!  They remember when the DOE tried to take money principals saved for the next year after assuring them that they had no intention to take a principal's savings. Until and unless the fsf is eliminated and the unit system is reinstalled, no Principal will be willing to appoint a high salaried ATR for fear that the DOE will renege on the ATR budget agreement and be left holding the bag under fsf.

Third, the seniority issue is still a major problem and principals don't want to put their staff at risk for excessing if they appoint a more experienced ATR.  Even the 2009 agreement that allowed principals to pick up ATRs at a "newbie" teacher salary (1A) and DOE Central picking up the difference for the next eight years until 8b, only put a small dent in the ATR pool due to the seniority issue.  Therefore, the DOE and UFT should do what they did in the 90's.  As James Eterno explained to me that to encourage principals to pick up a highly experienced excessed teacher, they gave the school an extra teaching position in that subject area so that the school can protect their least senior staff member if future excessing is required.  Since the DOE is paying for the ATR's salary anyway, this would be a win-win situation since the school gets a highly experienced teacher and would allow the principal to expand the course selection, including more Advanced Placement courses that Chancellor Carmen Farina claims she wants for the New York City Schools,  However, this violates the fsf and the ideological DOE has no intention of changing it.

Finally, by placing the ATRs back into the classroom, it will go a long way in reducing class size, supplying schools with experienced teachers, and provide additional course selection for the students.  However, until the fsf is replaced and the DOE agrees to ensure that the appointment of the ATR will not threaten their most junior staff member in that subject area, nothing will change and that is what the union leadership has failed to address.

Now you know the real story about the ATRs and fsf.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shocking! Another post about fair student funding and ATRs. Surprised you werent able to fit bashing principals into this post. Report on something new already. Yawn

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:46

Do you have anything of value to contribute? Are you a Unity troll?

Chaz's post is an eyeopener and exposes the issue thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

Listen Chaz writes about what's important to him.
No one is forcing you to read his column.
Faceless bloggers bashing someone- yawn

Anonymous said...

Your post is contrary to everything Amy Arundel is saying and writing- these, in her words, are all "urban myths". Perhaps she should hold a meeting to address these points; I won't hold my breath, though.

Anonymous said...

to 11:46

Certainly no one is forcing you to read and follow this BLOG. You can unsubscribe.

Chaz said...

Anon 1:24

Its not what she said, its what she didn't say.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, Arundel doesn't directly refute any statements made on this or any other blog. Labeling opposing claims as "urban myths" attempts to diminish their credibility without having to directly address them. Cheap rhetorical tool.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, Arundel doesn't refute any statements made on this or any other blog. Labeling opposing claims as "urban myths" attempts to diminish their credibility without directly addressing them.

Anonymous said...

only the WORST school system and union on the planet can create a system where experienced teachers in the ATR pool bounce around doing very little by way of instruction while new teachers work under trial by fire scenerios and get paid a low salary!!

Anonymous said...

Chaz is a great Blogger!

Anonymous said...

Chaz, thanks for explaining why the ATRs are not being placed. Maybe the union leaders should be more honest with the ATRs and not withholding information.

Anonymous said...

To 7:15,
Why would the union not be honest and withhold information? The fact that they aren't shows guilt. If the city is doing something wrong to teachers (ATRs) the UFT should first try to stop it. If they can't stop it, those members must properly informed for self protection. That the UFT is allowing this, put discrimination in the last contract and are denying an ATR chapter shows complicity. I will happily opt out of the union at the first opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chaz, I'm not sure about all this ATR crap with monies, etc, but I do know that my principal refuses to hire additional teachers (ATR or others) which results in 6th class assignments at about 12K per year. Yes, thank you. These mini boutique schools can't afford teachers so they pawn off a class here, a class there. It's all paid for by central with nothing coming out of that actual schools budget. The DOE is actually giving $$$ away. Instead of placing an ATR to cover a vacancy of 5 classes, they will actually give 5 teachers a 6th class where the DOE pays the 12K salary equaling about 60K. Genius!!!!! Not coming out of school budget. It comes from the DOE central offices. I certainly got my 6th class. Thank you very much.

Bronx Teacher said...

Hey anon 11:46. Stop being an asshole. If it weren't for Chaz I couldn't have gotten through my 3020-a. I don't know what your problem is with him but Chaz is one of the few good people in the DOE. He hells and helps and helps and asks for nothing in return. I would go through brick wall for him.

Anonymous said...

What a fuken mess omg two organizations the doe and uft are do dysfunctional it is beyond belief and only blame people cause its people that make up the doe and uft and these people are from all around the country who come to new york and truly bring with them southern and midwestern mentalities of dumb and dumber.

Anonymous said...

If the ATR situation is to be renegotiated in 2018 I believe the UFT SHOULD ASK FOR FORCED PLACEMENTS OF ATR'S again. This was the way things were done prior to 2005. Any teacher who becomes an ATR should be placed via seniority into a school of his or her choice in his or license in his or her district. However, Hell will freeze over before the UFT gets some balls to ask for this and we all know the DOE will not go for it. Asking should be done though.

Counselor said...

Has anyone thought that the reason the union is promulgating the ATR situation is that they get several thousand extra members who are paying dues? We are a freaking cash cow.

Anonymous said...

Please ensure that DOE and UFT-related problems are being called to the attention of Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito and Hon. Daniel J. Dromm.

Melissa is the Speaker of the City Council.

Daniel is the Chair of the City Council Education Committee and is also a member of the City Council Oversight & Investigations Committee.

Their email addresses are:

mviverito@council.nyc.gov

ddromm@council.nyc.gov

Anonymous said...

The UFT is useless and corrupt, Unity needs to go. They are part of the discriminatory practices against ATRs, only a class action lawsuit will put everybody in its place.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just venting. Today was a terrible day for me. I am literally witnessing a fantastic school go to hell. I cannot believe what I'm witnessing each day. The administration is clueless. Imagine 130+ high schools in the Bronx alone. Imagine trying to fill these schools with principals? All 130+? Impossible. The talent is just not there. I am literally witnessing an administration ruin a school that was once on top. Amazing to see it crumble right in front of me. I spoke up once and mentioned some things I'm seeing and I was rewarded with some nasty comments and a surprise observation the next day. I know better now. Screw standing up and defending what's right. Seriously, screw the kids at my high school. My salary and benefits outweigh them forever. I'm too far in to cause waves now. I learned my lesson. Closing my eyes, turning my card to the "in" side and then to the "out" side. See yaaaaa.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. This is what it is now. Chaz did you read that? I feel the pain and this little message is not rare at all.

Anonymous said...

I too often dumb myself down and keep my mouth shut. Watching an administration put things in place that are absolutely insane and cause huge problems within the school. There response would be "this is the way its going to be" or the popular " do you wanna run this place?". No thanks I am terrified and just want to hold onto a job that I love and provides for a family of four. I make a diffrence by my interactions with students and families. I fear the administration , DOE and UFT, and I am a teacher with 15 positive yearly reviews. The new contract, Danielson, common core, Tier 6(omg), the blame the teacher climate have ruined teaching as a profession. I got in 2000 many veterans at that time saw it coming. They said they would not want to begin a career in teaching the way things were going. Now 15 years later it worse than even they imagined. WILL ANYONE MAKE IT TO A TIER 6 PENSION WORTH ANYTHING??

retired teacher said...

Why is it so hard to find principals? There are literally no requirements. How many duds did the leadership academy turn out? How many of them became principals?

The good news today is that Meryl "charter school-common core" Tisch is stepping down. Maybe they'll replace her with a real educator (fat chance.)

Anonymous said...

I met a leadership academy principal in an international school last year that never taught a day in her life, and boy does the school show it! Nice kids straight off the plane transforming into thugs overnight. No discipline and no leadership. There should be a list, made public, of all principals who have no teaching experience. These principals are the ones who should be turned into ATRs. Instead Farina leaves them in place. It's a disgrace and its destroying kids.

Anonymous said...

Hey guess what? No one cares!!!! Make your 6 figure salary and laugh on the ride home. It's all a joke. Don't get upset. Just make your $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Anonymous said...

I think I was placed in a clone of the school that 4:49 PM was placed in. At first, I was placed in charge of a computer lab, where students could use the computers during free periods. Every wall and desk bristles with stern rules typical of any computer lab:

* NO food or drink allowed in computer lab
* NO hanging out
* NO watching movies or playing games on computers
* NO listening to loud music without headphones

With no further guidance, I gently asked violators of these rules to leave the computer lab. Obviously food or drink could damage the machines. Hanging out destroyed the quiet atmosphere for kids trying to do homework. Watching movies or playing games was not the purpose of an academic computer lab. And listening to loud music disturbed everyone.

I was warned by another teacher that students I had sent out were streaming into the AP's office to complain. What possible leg did they have to stand on? They had been eating, drinking, hanging out to converse with friends, watching movies or sports events on school computers, etc. But the teacher thanked me for taking such good care of the room with its expensive equipment and told me to please keep up the good work.

Subsequently, my program turned into 100% cafeteria duty, 15 hours/week. In this school, where teachers are addressed by their first names (another great way to have respect for teachers), the students are never to be told that they cannot do something. This is the only school (and I've been in some real beauties) in which students leave their cafeteria food refuse, trays, milk cartons, and other food trash piled high on every table in the cafeteria, I guess for the maid to clean up. I cannot describe the thrill I experience at sitting among tall piles of trash in the cafeteria. I can liken it to sitting inside a garbage can at a roadside park. And then there is the verbal garbage. Not just a steady barrage of curse words assaulting my ears, but really filthy vulgarities. No one says anything to stop this and I won't bother. Not in this school, where other teachers describe their students as "having an excessively developed sense of entitlement".

I shadowed a class today where the 20-something teacher was giving a quiz. First, the students could use their information packet to complete the quiz. Second, they could use their cell phones to look up vocabulary words (and presumably text, look up answers, etc.). Third, the lights were turned down low and the Smartboard was utilized to play smarmy videos and music DURING THE QUIZ by some piece of filth "artist". The video included scantily clad dancing girls. What a WHOLESOME classroom atmosphere!

Can you imagine what a field supervisor would have to say about this quiz classroom if an ATR was doing this? But THIS young teacher would surely be patted on the head for their teaching techniques. I could scarcely stagger out of the classroom, I was so appalled by these teaching practices. Must be the dinosaur in me. Is it any wonder that the majority of NYC high school grads are NOT college ready?

Anonymous said...

This hiring of principals with no teaching experience goes against the chancellor regulations and might be something that should be taken up with the education committee in the city council. I understand that some of these people might be now grandfathered in but if they are doing such a poor job then they should not be allowed this position of principal.

retired teacher said...

to 9:30 pm: You expect these deprived inner city children to stop using their cherished cell phones to learn some dull boring stuff like American History or Algebra? What kind of martinet are you? Next you'll expect the kids not to use their phones during tests - what an archaic, outmoded idea. I bet you are one of the "old school" teachers who can write in cursive and knows what a gerund is and can't define "differentiated instruction."

I can't imagine some of the horrible things ATR's are enduring.

Anonymous said...

Some of these ATR assassins supervisor are desperate to go after teachers, we know your names and your tactics will be exposed. You feed on the older teachers so you can make a name for yourself, you have no shame.

Anonymous said...

The security guard told me that this principal in the smarmy video school--who I mistook for a student--made them watch as they returned a student's skateboard to them when the security guard confiscated it. When 2 students were acting out and the dean took their I.D.s from them, the principal had 2 new I.D.s issued to them the next day. There simply is NO discipline upheld in the school. The student is always right.

My field supervisor told me that she would observe me in a week or so during my stay at this school. I know that she told the principal. I briefly discussed this with the principal and told them that I wanted to get in contact with one of the teachers in my subject so that I could have the students get used to seeing me in the classroom, see how the teacher taught the class, and ensure that my observation lesson would be exactly placed in the curriculum to avoid that period being wasted as learning time. My previous experiences with this situation were that the principal then introduces me to a teacher in my field and arranges for me to shadow them. This principal did no such thing, so I took the initiative to find out who is teaching my subject in the school and to introduce myself to them, explaining that I will be observed soon. This teacher who played the video is very very young and untenured. Today they told me that my helping them supervise the quiz yesterday was very helpful. But they were very nervous that it had not been sanctioned by the principal, and they wanted my name so that they could run this all by the principal. I told them that as soon as I heard which date the field supervisor wanted to observe me, THAT would be the logical time to inform the principal about all this. Meanwhile, I must use the intervening time to acquaint myself with the students, the curriculum, the method of teaching used at this school, etc. I can't imagine any chance of a successful observation waiting until I hear the date and THEN first shadowing the teacher in this class. At first, they admitted this made sense. Then, as I was leaving for the day, I saw the very young teacher go to the principal to discuss this, even after I had told her it was premature and to wait until we had an observation date.

Gee whiz! I am now trepidatious because I am, through no fault of my own, caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. The principal did not cooperate with facilitating my observation, so I had to take initiative. I can just imagine how they will receive that from a nervous young teacher.

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