Saturday, April 04, 2009

Why Are The Principals Not Hiring The ATRs For The Classroom? Its About The Control Stupid!

Once again our union was shocked that after negotiating an agreement with the DOE to give Principals a financial incentive to hire ATRs for classroom vacancies in November of 2008. Instead of hiring experienced ATRs for these classroom positions, the Principals hired "newbie teachers" for 95% of the openings. The Daily News reported that of the 311 vacancies only 16 ATRs were hired, compared to the 295 "newbie teachers" to fill the positions.

The union had negotiated in "good faith" with the DOE and thought it had a "win-win" proposal that would reward Principals who filled a classroom position with an experienced ATR and get a financial benefit to the school's budge. Granted, Tweed did not require the Principals to hire the ATRs and they could hire whomever they wanted. However, what Principal would not want to hire an experienced, veteran teacher while only paying a salary of a beginning teacher of $45,530? Further, if the fit was good for both the ATR and the Principal, Tweed would reimburse the school half the teachers salary ($22,765) for the first year. Even a skeptic like myself thought the union finally got one right. Wrong!

Little did I know that the Principals prized their control over the staff above the financial aspects of the school. In fact, the Principals attached so much importance to having total control that parent concerns and student academics were secondary to their goal of having complete control over the school. These Principals want a teacher to say "how high" when told to jump not "why"? How can a Principal justify hiring a "newbie teacher" with little knowledge in the curriculum and classroom management over an experienced teacher for the same price? Because the DOE said they can. This anti-educational practice can only be achieved if Tweed privately encouraged the Principals not to hire the ATRs, either through communications with the District Superintendents or the Lead Instructional Supervisors. Obviously, the Principals were given the green light to hire the "newbie teachers".

Unfortunately, the union has continuously failed to point out how this policy affects student learning to the newspapers and the newscasts. Why, has the union not brought up the Principal school control issue as a cause against student learning? You need to go ask them. The Tweed policy of encouraging the Principals to hire "newbie teachers" hurts the student's academics and is consistent with Tweed's "Children Last" program. Its too bad the union allows this to continue unchallenged.


NYC Educator said...

Great post, Chaz. I think you've achieved the minimalism so many of us strive for.

Ms. Tsouris said...

You are a man of few words.

Chaz said...


You made my day.

Ms. Tsouris:

Its not how many words, it is how effective they are.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the kids who might benefit from experienced teachers? it is all about control and bottom line. Maybe eduction itself as we know it will pretty soon be obsolete. There are already the experiments where the computer chips are embedded in human brains, all you have to do is to change chips, be it French, or Algebra. Just maybe one day in the near future, computer technology will just pass by, or at least deminish all these nonsense in so-called education reform.
One thing I do know is that everyone seems to agree that the current education model in the urban schools does not work, change is needed. However, who is to change, not kids, not parents, not principals, then it has to be teachers. Scapegoating teachers not only makes political sense, it also makes economical sense by putting a cap on the taxes.

Chaz said...


You are right. It is the teacher's fault when the schools are failing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chaz:

I have no doubt in my mind that teachers are losing out in the current debate, everyone from Obama to Klein wants to get rid of "bad teachers". Change rules the debate, someone has to lose out or be scapegoated for the sake of "Change" even though not much will eventually be changed. Teachers are the natural target and the only viable target, everyone is happy with the change except for a few hapless teachers. Teachers just like GM workers will be sold out and their union will not be able to do much about it even they wanted to.

Pissedoffteacher said...

This is exactly what I have been saying for years. I;ve even repeated those words to the admins in my school and have told them they were full of s**t when they denied doing it.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Principals today don't break wind unless they are given orders from above to do so which leads me to the question, once this farce of BloomKlein "reform" is over and it is proven that some of these principals have broken the law will they use the "Nurenberg defense"?

"I was just following orders."


Anonymous said...

I heard from a security person in my closing school that 1 of the new smaller schools is having serious safety problems and is in jeopardy of being shut down. The principal of the school in trouble, has now placed in staff mailboxes the postings for teachers and staff needed this fall. Another principal has been soliciting older experienced teachers in the closing school in the building, saying that the new school needs experienced folks who can control the students. I guess with the new incentive and their own existence in the crosshairs they might hire some older atr's and staff. Sad that it has to come to this.