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.