Thursday, May 01, 2008
DOE Attacks Teacher Tenure After Causing The ATR Mess
The DOE is at it again. First, they tried to use student test scores to determine tenure. Next, the non-educators at Tweed sent out instructions how principals could refuse tenure to their teachers. Now, they are going after teacher tenure by putting out feelers to set a time limit of 12 months for ATR's to get a classroom assignment or be fired.
The DOE used the head of the teaching fellows program called the new teacher project,which they fund, to complain to the newspapers how 81 million dollars are wasted on the ATR's. However, what the newspapers didn't bother to print was that the ATR problem was created by the Kleinberg administration when they stopped the age-old practice of placing excessed teachers in schools before hiring new teachers. In fact, the Kleinberg administration runs new teacher job fairs before the ATR job fairs to ensure that the ATR problem will continue. In addition, the DOE's "fair student funding" program encourages the principals to hire new teachers rather than highly paid veteran teachers because of budgetary reasons.
According to the newspapers the DOE wants to either reopen or add an addendum to the 2007 contract that will allow the DOE to fire ATR's who haven't found a classroom assignment within 12 months. Even Randi Weingarten will never go for this blatant attack on teacher tenure. I believe that a line in the sand has been drawn by the UFT and cannot be crossed and that line is teacher tenure.
nyc educator and an ICE article by James Eterno explains this issue in more detail and is a must read for people interested in the teacher tenure and the ATR issues. In summary, the UFT's response to the DOE's proposal about reopening the contract should be answered in three words "dead on arrival".