Sunday, December 04, 2016

The ATR Incentive And The Problem Code.



























The DOE has tried in various ways to terminate the ATRs.  First, they changed the hiring and bumping rules, thanks to our UFT leadership, in the infamous 2005 contract.  Next, our UFT leadership failed to challenge the DOE when they imposed the "fair student funding" formula on the schools that encouraged principals to "hire the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their school.  Then Tweed tried to demonize the ATRs by publicly calling them "unwanted" or "bad" teachers as Bloomberg closed 162 schools and excessed thousands of teachers into the ATR pool.. However, only the cheapest and untenured teachers were hired as the "fair student funding" formula discouraged principals from picking up the experienced teachers, especially the senior teachers who could have been role models to the influx of "newbie" teachers that the schools were hiring to fill their vacancies.

As the recession hit the schools in 2008 and deepened for the next four years, the school budgets were slashed to 78% of their fair funding.  Hiring of experienced teachers was the exception not the rule.  This was especially true at the Bloomberg small schools with Leadership Academy principals.  Eventually, the DOE tried different  half-hearted attempts to drain the ATR pool by either giving schools an incentive to hire an ATR, a buyout, or by imposing different rules on the ATRs.  However, neither the carrot or stick approach in dealing with the ATR issue made any real significant impact on the ATR pool as the numbers stayed relatively constant of between 1,000 to 2,000, depending if you include ATRs assigned to provisional or leave replacement positions.

Now the DOE sees that there is a looming teacher shortage on the horizon and has already hit the Bronx.  For the first time in my memory, the DOE has told Bronx schools they could hire discontinued teachers from other Boroughs.  Moreover, the DOE has come up with yet another incentive for principals to hire ATRs for their school, as if their decade long demonization of ATRs had no effect on principals who have continually heard how bad these ATRs are.  Except for the Bronx and some of the worst schools in the other Boroughs, the new ATR incentive has not been a success.  So far only 125 ATRs have been permanently placed, many of them already provisionally placed for the year at the school.   Considering there were 1,304 ATRs in rotation and approximately 500 more placed in a long-term assignment, the 125 ATRs permanently placed is a drop in the bucket.

Interestingly, and most disturbingly, I have been hearing from a numbers of ATRs telling me that they could not get a permanent position at their school they were provisionally assigned to because the principals informed them that DOE Central told them that they don't recommend hiring the ATRs because they were previously charged under section 3020-a.  While principals have the sole right to hire staff, many principals still follow what DOE Central tells them and if DOE Central does not recommend hiring a teacher coming out of discipline, then why get them mad by ignoring that recommendation?  Moreover, I have been told that Tweed has made two lists of ATRs.  List one are for teachers who were excessed due to closing schools or downsized programs (approximately 75%) and the other who won their discipline hearings (approximately 25%).  Apparently, DOE Central is telling principals not to hire from the second list.and to check the file for a problem code or as I call it a Scarlet Letter.

The UFT will claim that the ATR imitative is for all ATRs but as long as DOE Central objects to the hiring from the second list, the teachers who survived their 3020-a termination hearings will have little chance to be permanently placed unless the teacher is in a severe shortage area with no other candidates.  If the DOE and UFT claim otherwise, then let them publish the statistical breakdown of the ATRs given permanent positions.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The DOE is planning to hire overseas when the teacher shortage arrived, even if the teacher cannot speak English.
They want cheap labor.

Anonymous said...

There in lies the rub - the UFT can prove or disprove every bullshit claim from the DOE, Amy Arundel, and anyone else but chooses not to. Why? Because it will make liars out of all of them.

Anonymous said...

By the way, how awesome is finals week, regents prep, and regents week in January? Those poor elementary & middle school teachers have no idea about what January & June are.

Anonymous said...

Those are the toughest weeks at my school and are dreaded by the staff. Grading nightmares - give me an instructional week every time.

Anonymous said...

"For the first time in my memory, the DOE has told Bronx schools they could hire discontinued teachers from other Boroughs."

Chaz, could you explain in more detail what you mean by this? My understanding is that this was the way it was anyway. I was discontinued from district 27/77 under my sped license for grades 7-12. I had previously taught at a high school in queens. My understanding is that I can no longer teach at a queens high school under my sped license for any school in district 77 but I am free to apply to any high school outside of queens. Or I could teach in a queens school under my sped license at either a k-8 or middle school. Or..I could teach anywhere middle or high school on any borough under a completely different license that I have. And yes, I know that I have that infamous scarlet letter so the chances of all those things happening are slim to nothing. But theoretically I am not "precluded" by my discontinuance from teaching at another borough such as the Bronx even though my chances of getting back in the DOE are very unrealistic.


Second question. Can you or maybe somebody else explain to me the scenario that a discontinued teacher faces when they have the problem code?

This is my understanding of what happens. Let say that you find a principal that wants you even though he knows that you are coded. (Not entirely as infrequent as people make it sound imo.) The teacher still has to get cleared by OPI/HR. The principal is told that there is a problem code and that there is a waiting period involved sometimes up to a month and a half. The principal cannot afford to wait that long so he or she logically passes on the teacher in favor of somebody that has no code.

Am I missing any steps in between?

Thanks

Thanks Chaz.

Chaz said...

Anon 8:27

First, you are correct, being discontinued in one District theoretically means you can be hired in another district. However, the DOE frowns on other districts from hiring and in fact, few if any were hired until this year.

Probably true, since OPI/HR will delay the hiring until the school looks somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Chaz:


Thanks for posting this, I was told by my District Rep that the Principal who refused to convert me to permanent status was an isolated case and he just was lying to you. Now I know the truth.

Anonymous said...

Another question that come to mind: Whose ingenious idea was it to problem code teachers? I know that it happened during the Bloomberg/Klein administration. I am guessing that it was done because the assumption at that time was that the teacher who got "problem coded" must have done something so heinous that the DOE would take any measure to prevent the teacher from re-enteirng the system. Now it's long surpassed the point where a probationary teacher gets fired cause the principal dislikes the smell of his or her cologne and guess what?? that same discontinued teacher now has the "problem code."

I have seen several video postings on youtube and other cites where at least 7 teachers (tenured and discontinued) have passionatley spoken in front of the disappointing chancellor at the PEP conferences and expressed in their words how unjust and unpractical the problem code is. Of course it went in one ear and other the other....probably before the speaker was even finished.

Chaz said...

Actually it was done in the Bloomberg/Walcott era. It allowed principals to see if the teacher they intend to hire has a problem code. It matters little what the teacher was actually guilty of, the code assumes guilt.

Anonymous said...

It is a nonsense system, real change is needed.

Former Teacher said...

Do you recall this policy at the beginning of the ATR situation when the schools with registers if either less than 500 or 600 students were not sent ATRs and only larger schools were sent ATRs? I remember subbing in different schools and the small school did even know what an ATR teacher was because they had never met one. I assume this policy has changed but you can never assume anything with DOENYC.

Anonymous said...

NYC guilty of deliberately creating traffic mess in and around midtown and trump tower. Article in todays news from a insider source reveals NYC deliberately creating traffic mess in midtown to discourage people from driving into midtown. So, NYC is guilty of being creepy and screwing its people you say?? Well, the same shit goes on at the NYCDOE as they are guilty of creating a traffic jam in our schools i.e. atrs, targeting senior teachers, fake principals and aps, hiring cheap and not best teachers, bogus teacher evals.....NYCDOE is a group of people who have some nasty tendencies and one has to wonder who the hell these people are and where does the ideology come from?? Were all these people brainwashed by the bloomberg administration?? Did midget mike or "little mike" as Trump calls him give drugs to the employees before he left for office?? We live in a city of hatred people that is the truth of the matter..

Chris Sullivan said...

How bad is the teacher shortage in the Bronx ? What subjects have the biggest shortage?
I'm hearing some good things in Queens with Atr's getting permently hired positions . But most were Atr's that were let go form closing schools . As a whole I think NYCDoe will have major problems in the next 5 years with retiring teachers double then the normal rate of 3,500 . On top of no one wanting to Becoming a teacher with all the negativity in the media and social media about teaching . I'm not a betting man but i beat this will look like the mid 90's with the teacher shortage in NYC

Anonymous said...

The nonsense is going to collapse in their faces.

Anonymous said...

Somehow made it through today's PD. A painful experience staring at the clock. 80 minutes of death. PD PD PD PD I can't take it. Another meeting? Why?

Anonymous said...

They are telling ATRs they are being hired permanently and once hired telling them its provisional. I don't know of any ATRs hired permanently in the Bronx.

Anonymous said...

The same failed policies will actually come to hunt them.

Anonymous said...

Still confused as to the selection of Betsy Devos to education secretary. Please take a look at the state of Michigan and the school system there and what the Devos family has done. The charter schools are a mess and the charters in Michigan have the lowest progress of any schools in the country!! Working conditions in Michigan schools are in shambles causing teachers there to protest un workable conditions. Further, Michigan is a state that has cities that rule with sharia law. Dearborn Michigan is the first city in the country to be ruled by sharia law and there was a situation where christians were stoned to death by the ruling sharia law muslims that own the city council in the city of Dearborne. Where was the Devos familys money here? You mean to tell me that the Devos family is more interested in destroying public education with their money than to help save their country's Constitution which is being slammed on by the muslims there?? Conflict of interest here with Trump selection.

Anonymous said...

We should all start leaving the profession.

Anonymous said...

No one cares man. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dwarka...........nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Is she still the principal?

Anonymous said...

The UFT likes Dwarka.

Anonymous said...

Tweed does not care, the same failed policies are going to hunt them.