Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why Can't Renewal Schools Recruit Quality Teachers?



























Public Advocate, Latitia James, has called for a probe of the policies affecting the Renewal School program.  She appears most upset about the declining enrollment, lack of resources, poor and costly consultant services, low college ready scores, and lack of quality teachers affecting the Renewal Schools.  This post will touch on only one of the issues, that's the lack of quality teachers.

Since the beginning of the Renewal School program back in 2014.  The Chancellor, Carmen Farina, has been claiming that the DOE will make every effort to encourage "highly effective" teachers to jump ship and join the Renewal Schools.  While the Chancellor talked a good game the results were very disappointing.  Few, if any quality teachers took the Chancellor up on her offer.  Nobody in their right mind would be willing to leave their appointed position to work for the same money while being subject to more accountability, less preparation time, and a stressful school environment in a school that might close three years down the road and find themselves in the ATR pool.

The Chancellor told Chalkbeat how she will be staffing the Renewal Schools with "highly effective"  teachers.  Instead, the only teachers being hired by the Renewal Schools are "newbies".  Just take a look at the article about Automotive High School.  Moreover,  the Chancellor ignored the data and falsely claimed that quality teachers were applying in droves to the Renewal Schools.  I guess to her "newbies" are quality teachers and that the Renewal Schools were  not losing students despite the latest data.  Finally, the DOE has in their school-based "fair student funding" formula discourages the hiring of veteran teachers who have the classroom management skills and deep curriculum knowledge to control an academically struggling school.

Go to most any Renewal High School in the City and you see fewer and fewer veteran teachers as they resign or retire and are replaced by the latest batch of  "newbies"  who are subject to a steep learning curve and usually jump ship through the Open Market Transfer System.  In fact, a study shows that 80% of the "newbie" teachers end up in another school. You can read about some of the Renewal High Schools Here.

The chances the Renewal Schools can attract quality teachers are slim and none unless major  structural changes are made like offering veteran teachers more money, exempt from Danielson, assurances of placement in another school if the Renewal School closes, and autonomy in the classroom without the micromanagement that adds to the stress and is a hallmark of the Renewal Schools.




24 comments:

reality-based educator said...

Even if you are designated a "highly effective" teacher, a year at a Renewal School will have you down to "developing" at best - and maybe "ineffective."

Working with challenging populations of students is not something you want to do under the Cuomo/De Blasio/Mulgrew evaluation system.

Anonymous said...

All the renewal schools have already been slated to close. All of the money is a front to award Farina's friends, give experience to those with no administrative experience and give the appearance to UFT members and the general populace that everything that can be done is being done. Mulgrew knows it. The problem is that is its either this or Moskowitz gets them. Farina needs to go, post haste.

Anonymous said...

Fariña should leave as soon as possible. They really do not know what they are doing.

Anonymous said...


Chapter Leaders,

To enable you to interact with any ATRs that might come your way, we are hearing more and more that the recently repositioned Principal from Brooklyn Tech, who has been put in charge of the ATR placement program, is working diligently on aligning teaching vacancies with ATR certs/licenses for placements. Let’s hope that this results in some holes being filled with qualified people on a long-term basis.

Monte
John M. Monteforte

Special Representative, Bronx HS

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

IF they really gave a crap, they would say ok, maybe we exempt these kids from the Regents system and have a Danielson Lite rating system, just to build some confidence and get things running. Maybe restructure the school day so it better meets the needs of the population. Focus more on portfolios as opposed to tests, tests, tests. Oh, no, wait, that would require original thought, never more.

What was it Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over again? I had a principal who said, and did, the same thing. She's a principal no more.

Chaz said...

Mr. Monteforte:

If what you say is true, its been a failure so far. In my school there are two ATRs placed there last week without a vacancy in their field.

Anonymous said...

Farina is giving out patronage jobs to her friends in these renewal schools. Many of them are being paid over $2000 a day. Some of them were on the verge of being terminated from their positions as principals. Even Asher's job is a sham, he's being hidden as head of ATR placement until the heat is off him and he can go back into a real position. Do an expose on this NY Post - Farina is up to her eyeballs in it. She should be brought up on criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

I was at Richmond hill h.s last year. I came in as an effective experienced teacher from the ATR pool in Oct. I worked my butt off, never even having a period to eat. By the end of the year I was a developing and sent back into the ATR pool. I was so unfairly evaluated, probably to meet their quota and will no longer take a position in a renewal school.

ed notes online said...

I don't know about staffing at most renewal schools but I do have an idea about JHS 145x which will probably voted to be closed at next week's PEP meeting. The battle to keep it open has been led by a 17 year teacher. At last week's hearing a number of vet teachers spoke. The NY Times article the other day made the point that when the original school was broken up into 3 schools by Klein in 2008, the others got the newer teachers (now vets) and 145 retained the senior teachers. So it is an experienced staff which is one of the reasons I believe it and not others is being closed -- to turn the vets into ATRS.

Unknown said...

My story is almost identical to anonymous 10:37 except I ended up losing my job. I worked at Richmond Hill High School as well and in the 2013-2014 school year was an effective teacher as well as the two preceding years. However at the end of the 2014-2015 year I was ineffective and was discontinued. Me and somebody else were unfairly evaluated just to meet their quota and to artificially make it look like they were weeding our and getting rid of all the "ineffective teachers." Nobody should work in a renewal school under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Mr Monteforte,

I do not believe Mr Asher has any intent to place ATRs into permanent positions. However, I do believe he is placing ATRs into more appropriate settings. For example, not placing someone with a 7-12 license in elementary. For that I am happy because I hated elementary.

But with a new mayor possibly coming in asher has no authority

Anonymous said...

Very good. They are treating us like garbeig.

Anonymous said...

The DOE is not going to change, they keep doing the wrong thing over and over.

Anonymous said...

Same crap, they want uncertified newbies.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say but as an atr never take a placement position unless you really have too. It's a lose lose situation. They will use you and spit you out at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

Monte,
All the UFT and DOE has to do is end fair student funding- no more ATRs. Monte, you told me that yourself! Norm is right, all the renewal schools I've been placed as an ATR over the past few years in the Bronx are filled with veteran staff members- not newbies. I believe this is why they are closing them.

Anonymous said...

Taking a rotation in an elementary school with a 7-12 license? No wonder these ATR supervisors think we are all idiots. All you had to do to call any UFT office, other than the Bronx.

Anonymous said...

Totally right, and they are not getting better with newbies.

Anonymous said...

A high number of unsatisfactory ratings are being delivered again this year. Observations out of license, observations on students an ATR just met seem acceptable. Lame reasons, and opinions of supervisors in which a supervisor may not be an expert of the subject area are allowed. Disciplinary meetings on attendance or any type of bizarre reason are acceptable. Still some lucky ATRs have not had a supervisor, or has not been observed. The observation process is being used in an arbitrary, and capricious way in most cases to demoralize ATRs. Instead of reducing class sizes by putting ATRs back to the classrooms, the limited resources are going to waste. Some of us believed in a change of tone, but the reality is that it is getting worse. We have a department of education badly run by consultants, lawyers and bureaucrats instead of a department run by input of teachers that rewards and appreciates effort and good teaching. Also experience it is considered a liability, and a reason to be a target.

Anonymous said...

These ridiculous observations by field supervisors must end.

Anonymous said...

Systemic age discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Exactly that is the agenda. Systemic age discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Fariña is part of the culture of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew and Fariña are part of the corruption.