Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Appointment Of Randy Asher To Tackle The ATR Problem Shows That The ATR Incentive Has Failed.


The DOE announced that the former Principal of Brooklyn Tech, Randy Asher, will get a promotion and a $185,000 dollar salary to tackle the vexing ATR problem.  According to Chancellor Carmen Farina, Randy Asher will bring a fresh approach and new strategies to reduce the ATR pool that cost the DOE over $100 million dollars annually.  This is proof that the DOE's ATR incentive has been a failure since if it was a success, there would be no reason to hire Mr.Asher to tackle the problem.  According to the Daily News article, there are presently, 981 ATRs in rotation, down from 1,303 at the beginning of the school year.  However, most of the reduction is due to provisional placements.  That means once their provisional assignments ends, they will be dumped  back into the ATR pool.  The latest anecdotal information showed only 125 ATRs were offered and accepted the incentive for a permanent placement.

What can Mr. Asher do to reduce the ATR pool?  The simple answer is to be given the authority by the Chancellor to prohibit principals from hiring outside the District until all exccessed teachers in the District in their content specialty are placed.  Without that authority, Mr. Asher will be met with resistance as principals who have been indoctrinated under the Bloomberg ideology and will simply refuse to hire ATRs.  Mr. Asher would need to obtain the power to penalize principals who fail to follow the new rules in hiring ATRs and get caught hiding vacancies.  These penalties should include but not limited to the following:

1. Monetary penalty in the form of a fine.
2. Taking away funding for the hidden vacancy
3. Removal of the Principal.

Of course this can only happen if the school-based fair student funding program is made District based and the schools no longer have a financial incentive to hire "newbies".

However, what I suspect will actually happen is that Mr. Asher will propose an ATR time limit and a reduced "due process" proposal when he negotiates with the union leadership.  Our union leadership will reject the ATR time limit but will agree to a more punitive ATR program that will once again make ATRs a "second class citizen".   Of course, our union leadership will once again declare victory and convince the DOE to make an inadequate ATR retirement incentive, similar to the one in 2014 as a sweetener so that everybody wins, except the ATRs who cannot afford to retire and are subject to more onerous requirements and more harassing pressure to quit the system.

I could be wrong but I strongly suspect that the scenario I outlined in the previous paragraph will be the most likely path that Mr. Asher will take as he won't step on the toes of his Tweed supervisors and the principals of the CSA union he was a long-term member in.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will the UFT stand up for the ATRs at the upcoming council hearings? How can the DOE/NYC even think of hiring people licensed outside NY to fill the so called teacher shortage when they have all these ATRs that should be given pemanent jobs first?!

Bronx Teacher said...

And this is the same Randy Asher that looked the other way as Sean Shaynak Snapchatted in Tallywhacker to female students at Brooklyn Tech.

Anonymous said...

For the first time ever, I must disagree with Chaz. I think the DOE is starting to realize that the NYC teacher shortage is right around the corner. This Asher dude actually seems to realize that there are plenty of ATR's who have experience and would be best for the city to get them back full time in front of a classroom. Principals in the Bronx where I teach are starting to freak out right now that there are no veteran teachers to help out the newbies who don't have a clue as to how to manage a classroom full of rowdy kids. Maybe I am wrong and this could be just another ploy to get rid of ATR's since they "cost" too much in the eyes of the DOE. But for once, I think the DOE is starting to realize they have a goldmine of talent that should be brought back!

Anonymous said...

In other words we will get bent over while grabbing our ankles. The united federation of turds will cheer them on and give no lubrication. We won't even get a courtesy reach around!


Angry Nog

Anonymous said...

Two possibilities: DOE will require all principals who currently have 1 year provisionals to hire them permanently or provide tons of reasons why not and DOE may finally go with citywide average teacher salary, thus eliminating incentive for schools to hire the young and the cheap...let us watch

Anonymous said...

What a great job this is! Get paid more money to not be involved with kids and parents, and implement common sense solutions a dog could think of. Did they really need to hire someone to do this? No wonder education costs are so high.

Anonymous said...

Un show after another.

Anonymous said...

As a Bronx teachers who has personally met and talked to lots of ATR's I can say that there there are actually 2 types of ATR's. 1) ATR's who hate being an ATR and would love to get a permanent teaching assignment. 2) ATR's who love being ATR's since they do not have to write lesson plans, meet with parents, do grades, etc.

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

I would have gladly taken an 185,000 salary to do this job. All it requires is basically freezing on new hires and making every principal hire from the ATR pool only. On top of that though, I'd be tempted to remove bad principals I had or knew about. It's nice to see some kind of positive news for once. Time will tell.

ed notes online said...

Let's face the fact that there are a number of ATRS who would rather remain an ATR than be put in some school where they have to face all the crap teachers are facing - accountability for student performance, paperwork, etc. Randy may get as much resistance and reluctance from that end. Maybe they are deciding to just assign people to schools as regulars and let the chips fall where they may -- principals use the tools to go after them like any other teacher. I know a very competent teacher in a subject area people are looking for. He is also a very competent ATR -- people notice him. I believe he could get a job if he wanted -- but he told me he would love to finish his career as an ATR.

Anonymous said...

My greatest frustration with the ATR process as a School Counselor is that Principals have no way of knowing which persons were excessed because of school logistics over incompetence. So the risk of hiring someone that fits the school is largely great. I have been told how tired Administrators are that people are shoved into their schools to do more damage than good. I believe there has to be accountability on all levels. I am grateful for OUR UFT protection. As ineffective as the ATR pool is, its better then not having a job. There have been plenty in the ATR pool that are arduously looking for a home and work hard no matter where they place them and then there are those that are happy to be in the rotation because it absolves them of accountability and responsibility. As a person who is truly passionate about what I do, I am truly saddened by it all. This is my second year in the rotation, Applied for many positions online. When I call the answer is always, "our apologies, we have not updated our systems and that position has already been filled." How do we do our part, stay encouraged and not be boggled down by all this bureaucracy? All I want to do is service children and families. That seems to be simple enough. I PRAY sooner then later that it will find resolve so that all parties are satisfied with the outcome. To all of my peers, Stay encouraged!!!!

Anonymous said...

Waiting patiently to be rotated out of one the schools in Beach channel. I have been covering for a first year teacher that has been out since October. I'm the fourth teacher to cover the class since this teacher left without a word. Last marking period, all the kids received 90s and 100's for a class that has no teacher. The kids know that they didn't deserve the grade or know where the grade came from. I have been covering for five weeks and no one has asked me about grades or student performance. The kids act like animals, I don't blame them. There is no structure in that building. The school PDs is just talk about data. DOE closed Beach Channel and got rid of experienced teachers for this, how is this building better?
I'm 45 and have been teaching for 21 years. I have kids referring to me as "just a sub". I have a school aide that thinks she is my boss. This is what my career has come to.

Anonymous said...

You are not the only one with this story. I am not sure what Mr. Asher can do to change the attitudes of the administrators in NYC schools. By now we have a generation of administrators who truly believe teachers know nothing. Then these administrators truly believe substitute teachers are people who walked off the street and are their day laborers. To top it off, the regular faculty has seen the administrators regularly disrespect substitutes and ATRS so the other teachers take it upon themselves to discipline the subs and ATRS. So if anything good will come out of Asher's tenure, it will be an incredible amount of work

Anonymous said...

I'm also at one of the schools at beach channel. Nice enough staff but the kids who are mainly black and brown (obamas terminology not mine) are out of control. Smoking weed and roaming the halls all day and the poor staff has to find 80% to pass or they get called to the office. Another bad school with better deserving students who curse each other and the staff out. But it's all the teachers fault and if you say something about the kids behavior your called a racists. What's happened to our once great nation? What would Dr.King say if he saw the behavior of the kids in the DOE? He risked and gave his life for this?

Anonymous said...

Mr Asher is a very smart man, as part of his contract, he may return to B Tech as Principal after 1 year. Very forward thinking as he will likely fail the stated mission. Who knows better than he what principals and the DOE UFT complex are like?

Chaz said...

Anon 5:16

Mr. Asher may be smart but unless DOE policy changes he will fail in his mission.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Asher is going to act as a "broker" trying to match ATR's to schools. Nevertheless, the same problems still exist mainly the affordability factor for veteran ATR's. Principals will continue to exclude those high salaries from their budgets. Also, the DOE may consider a 15% decrease in the ATR pool a success.

Anonymous said...

Yes...15% translates to a savings of $15 million dollars annually while only paying Mr. Asher $185K annually....DOE will probably be satisfied with these numbers.

Anonymous said...

The DOE is talking about saving money, but what about the issue of having 5 to 6 principals for different schools in one building, each earning, over 150k / yr? That's not even counting the APs for each principal. Imagine, how many buildings are there in NYC with at least three or more schools.

Anonymous said...

Never looked other way. Get facts right. Teacher was arrested.

Gladys Sotomayor said...

I'm waiting to exhale

Chaz said...

Gladys

I suspect you will be waiting a long, long, time.

MAP said...

Asher is a human right violator

From a Brooklyn Tech student (Asher was my principal) said...

I am a current student at Brooklyn Tech, the school where Mr. Asher was principal from about February 2006 to January 2017. He was only hired because the previous principal was forced to resign due to a massive scandal about his daughter attending Brooklyn Tech illegally. It was very long and, more importantly, very embarrassing. I don't know how this guy got confirmed through the C-30 hiring process but he's completely incompetent. Yes, I know it's the largest public high school in the nation (not even exaggerating), but he was truly horrible. He fired all the good teachers and left the bad ones and couldn't care less about the students. He appears only at freshman orientation, on the first day of school, aaaaaaaaand that's about it. Most students have seen him less than ten times in their lives... even seniors. He never even writes letters to parents about school achievement, he just delegates that responsibility to some assistant or secretary. Somehow he earned ~$160,000 before his promotion.

I know this may seem biased coming from a disgruntled student, but I'm really not.

Good luck, teachers. Now you'll feel the pain that my fellow students felt for the past 11 years as they were ignored.

As for the good, diligent, helpful, caring teachers: Sorry. You didn't deserve this.

But all of you have been de Blasio'd. Enjoy!