Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Principals Are Effectively Telling The ATRs To "Kiss My Ass" As They RefuseTo Hire Them


Last Tuesday many an ATR was invited to the citywide ATR job fair held in Washington Heights in Manhattan. Despite a few hundred ATRs showing up, very few teaching positions were available, even in alleged shortage areas like Special Education, Math, and Science. For example one elementary school Special Education teacher who had sent out 25 resumes to known vacancies in her borough was shocked to find only one of these vacancies were advertised at the job fair. In addition a high school Math teacher found only a few Math positions and most of them were in the middle schools.

It appears the Principals have bought into the propaganda from Tweed and falsely believe that the ATRs are "bad teachers" and don't want to hire them. I touched on this issue in an earlier post. Furthermore, it is no secret that the "Leadership Academy Principals" have been told not to hire senior teachers and to wait out the "Open Market Transfer System" which ends in early August. Moreover, these Principals will try to see if they can request an exception from Tweed in hiring "newbie teachers". Finally, many of the Principals are counting on Tweed to rescind their directive and that come late August they can hire the "newbie teachers" or at the very least the nontenured young teachers for their schools. Meanwhile, Pissed Off published a letter written to her by an ATR who is thinking of killing herself because of the disrespect the DOE is showing the ATRs.

If Tweed does not rescind their hiring directive, look for massive hiring in the schools as the Principals realize that they do not have enough teachers to meet their class size mandates. However, being the skeptic that I am. I see Tweed rescinding their "no hiring directive" and the schools will be hiring all those "newbie teachers" from Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows program.

I hope Tweed does not back down and allow Principals to hire the "newbie teachers" because if they do, look for the ATR ranks to reach 1500+ as more senior teachers join the ATR ranks because of school closing, excessing, or coming out of the "rubber rooms". Remember, it is not about the children or the money. It is about control. "Children Last" continues.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know that at Dewey High School 16 teachers are being excessed and 12 retired positions that will not be filled. In Beach Channel HS 15 teachers are being excessed. Also every school in the city is excessing/firing large numbers of school aides which leads to the question; Who will supervise the cafeteria/hallways?? Guess who??
I suspect that hundreds of teachers are being excessed and thousands of school aides let go.
This Septembers opening has the potential for class size infractions like we have not had in many years and teachers being ordered to the cafeteria especially in the redesigned high schools and all the mini schools this administration created.

Anonymous said...

I was at that hiring hall and sent out resumes to many schools.There were exactly 10 elementary schools represented for all of New York City. How is that possible? This is another scam!Where does it even say that I am an "ATR?" NO WHERE!Why isn't this union doing something to help us? I guess they are waiting until all the teachers get thrown out, but who will then give them dues?

Chaz said...

Remember the newbie teachers pay the same dues as senior teachers so if two newbies replace a senior teacher, the union will double the dues money it receives.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chaz,

I have heard from at least 4 schools who will be excessing from 5-12 teachers each this coming September. Would you be able to define what does excessing means under this administration? Do all these teachers stay in the school on payroll and become subs like ATRS? I must say this is mind boggling. You may have over 2000 ATRs easily at this rate. I worked not too long ago when excessing meant something completely different- you were sent to an opening at a different school.

UnderAssault said...

Chaz, there are only a finite number of jobs at any given time. (The number may be different in Sept., but it is still finite.)

The question is: Does a newbie from an alternative certification (like TFA) who never lands a first job because of the hiring freeze become a dues-paying UFT member anyway?

If yes, then the UFT does gets more dues money. They'll have the newbie fees on top of the existing ones, whether the vets are in a real positions or ATRs.

But, if they don't start paying UFT dues until they land their first job, then it seems there'd be no extra cash for the union until the freeze is lifted. (I'm leaving aside for the purposes of this discussion the new schools, which are allowed to hire newbies. In those cases, yes, there will be more dues money coming in from those people.)

Please if you have any more information on this, could you let us know?

Anonymous said...

Oh and don't get me started on the Open Market. That's a crock. I have 12 years experience. I'm an ESL teacher. Every year I send out 50 resumes as I try to get a job closer to home. I get nothing - not even 1 interview.

Chaz said...

Anon:

I think under assult can answer your question better than me. However, what I believe is that you will stay in your school as an ATR until a position becomes available in your or another school. However, you can request to leave your school and ask to be reassigned as an ATR in another school if the Principal agrees.

Under Assult:

My understanding is that once a "newbie teacher" is given a job, they automatically start paying UFT dues. However, if the promise job does not come to pass and they are not hired, they do not pay dues.

Anonymous said...

You are completely right about what the principals are telling the ATRs. What is more, it seems that the HIRING FREEZE is just a BIG LIE, and was a complete FRAUD from the beginning. RW come to the meeting pretending to be a martyr and told us about this agreement. I applied to numerous jobs in the Open Market and also I went to drop my resume in person to the schools to no avail. I had the chance to talk to two principals because I insisted at the schools I visited that I needed to talk the principal. These principals told me they will call me. To this day, nobody called me for an interview.

In my school we had two openings that were filled with two of the F Status teachers. By the way-- we have/had eight F Status teachers. (two of them got jobs). Five others were retired teachers working F Status and are gone. The last one was a parent coordinator who became a teacher and worked F Status for 13 or 14 years. The principal told her to wait and see what happens.

Going back to the meeting with RW. & Mendel, I understood that F Status teachers were not supposed to get jobs. I don't understand how this 2 teachers got jobs.
I am sure that behind the Hiring Freeze there is a MEMO telling the principals not to give jobs to the ATRS. It is a big coincidence that most of the ATRS cannot find jobs and the chancellor wants to pretend that we are not employable. What is happening is that there is already a "DONE DEAL". THE PRINCIPALS ARE JUST WAITING FOR THIS BAN TO BE LIFTED SO THEY CAN HIRE THEIR FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND NEWBIES.

proofoflife said...

I wrote to the "uft" and sited Article 18..."principals will advertise ALL VACANCIES" We have EIGHT vacancies and zero postings!RESPONSE from UFT? ZERO!

moriah said...

Everyone has made excellent points about the ATR situation, but I am still hyperventilating over the letter that Pissed Off posted from the teacher who was considering suicide.

For some reason, we teachers have been able to take a lot of abuse without becoming a danger to ourselves or others. But over time, the abuse will take its toll.

Anyone who is making detailed plans for suicide in the way that "Jane" does in her e-mail is in immediate danger.

Friends and family should act the same way that they would if the person just fell down the stairs and broke a leg. Seek immediate medical attention for your loved one.

Chaz said...

Moriah:

Can't agree more. Further, I must point out that while the DOE does not want the person to commit suicide, they certainly want the ATRs to retire or resign. The longer you stay on the more you tell the DOE where to stick it.

Anonymous said...

I call for a mass rally to protest that the DOE is refusing to hire ATR's and the union is allowing it! The sooner the better!

Chaz said...

non:

Don't look for the union TO HELP ORGANIZE AN ATR PROTEST OR ANYTHING ELSE FOR THAT MATTER.

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's interesting the entitlement mentality of being a veteran NYC DOE teacher. First of all, where in the private sector is there an ATR pool? While I agree that there are great teachers in this pool, there are several ATRs who probably would not have ever gotten hired based on current standards. Those basic standards including, speaking English for one. This is not a dig at being an immigrant this is a dig at the fact that no matter your background or disposition, our kids deserve the best, not just teachers who think they merely 'deserve'.

I've personally witnessed many ATRs attend some of the events and you know, you can tell them apart from the rest. Probably not dressed as professionally, not very enthusiastic and sometimes not even able to be understood.

Do some of the Principals have pre-conceived notions about hiring ATR's? I'm sure they do. I'd be lying if I said otherwise, but what are the ATRs doing to prove them wrong? To those sending out resumes, do you have any idea whether your resume presents you best? Do you have a realistic idea as to how you present in person? Often the reality and perception are different. Stop complaining and get out there and learn to articulate why you're someone worth hiring not just because you have 'x' amount of years of experience. You're all talking politics and semantics and missing some of the key issues. I guess its easier to rally and complain as a group instead of doing self-reflection.

Chaz said...

anon:

The ATR that I wrote about is an excellent teacher that ran into a vindictive and insecure Principal. She speaks perfect English, dresses well, and is good with special needs children.

R%emember , how did the ATR become a teacher in the first place and get tenure? An Administrator hired them and gave them tenure. That should tell it all.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who stated that many ATR's can't speak properly or dress well, I would like to respond. To date I sent out 31 resumes and went to the hiring hall. The reason I am in this situation is because of a principal that didn't like anyone filing grievances. I am not an immigrant, I can speak well and am a master teacher. When I went to the hiring hall, someone asked if I was a principal. Yes, I dress well and the kids love me because I am very creative.How about you?

Anonymous said...

Well Anonymous I applaud the fact that you do want to work and take pride in your credentials. You should focus on moving forward and not talking about a jerk Principal you had. If you're that great, why don't you take quanitifiable proof of how great you are in acheiving student acheivement along with your resume when you go to the hiring hall. Of course not all ATR's can't dress well and don't communicate well, but there is a common theme. Some may need assitance in interviewing and others frankly shouldn't have been teaching in the first place. Whether we want to admit or not, becoming a teacher did not have many hiring restrictions in the past. As with any employer, Principals have the right to hire who they want now. Go out into the real world like people in corporate america who have to compete. Again, there's no ATR pool for them to 'complain' about the fact that they are getting paid full salary and benefits but can't get "hired".

Anonymous said...

To anon. attacking ATRs
Have you ever heard of something called a contract which Klein actually signed creating the ATR situation?

You don't think there's a form of seniority in the corporate world? Or outright favoratism.

And in the medical field?

Chaz said...

Anon:

As I stated previously, these ATRs were hired and given tenure by Principals. In addition, the last anon is correct, the ATR crises was caused by Joel Klein who allowed Principals to hire inexperienced teachers based upon his "education on the cheap" and "children last" policies.

Anonymous said...

To Anon who was hired to attack ATRs "KISS MY ...." Do not waste waste time answering this person who writes without having any evidence of who the ATRs are.

moriah said...

Anti-ATR Anon,

If principals didn't have to pay the salaries of their teachers, they would hire senior teachers with the most education and experience and the best track records for Regents and other tests. This is not about clothes, accents, resumes, etc, it's about money.

If you're a newbie teacher, you couldn't light a candle to many of the ATR teachers, and you know it.

If you're an administrator, you're a hypocrite, because you already know that you are passing up excellent teachers because you don't want to pay them.

If you're a lay person, you are coming from a position of ignorance. You need to inform yourself further before becoming attached to your opinions.

Chaz said...

I totally agree with Moriah.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who thinks ATR's are all immigrants: I may be a special education teacher but I know that "not all ATR's can't dress well" is incorrect grammar and "assitance" is spelled assistance.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to tell the anti-ATR crowd that if they don't have anything good to say or write about the ATRS,then they shouldn't speak or write about them at all. Moreover, the anti-Atr crowd needs to understand that the ATRS are true soul survivors who are being confronted with a situation that is much worse than anything Corporate America could dish out. Thus, under these circumstances, the ATRS deserve nothing less than the compassion and respect of the anti-ATR folks. After all, let's be honest: Most people, including the anti-ATR people, could not and would not survive as an ATR.

David Mutton said...

Wow, Anonymous of 5.25pm finally nailed the point. Claiming to be a great teacher in the same post as making basic gramatical errors and complaining about immigrants does not make your case very effectively.

Anonymous said...

Well David, you too make mistakes as 'gramatical points' is not quite proper grammar as well, but that's a moot point...lol. As with anything there is good and bad and politics involved, but if the day were to come where there was a deadline on how long one could be an ATR, I bet you many would be more vigilent in preparing and searching for jobs. I have friends who don't teach who can't simply rely on an ATR status to pay their bills while they may or may not even be looking for a job and simply sending resumes to postings. It takes networking, it takes legwork because simply, there's more competition. Get over it and stop hiding under the policy game and complaining about conspiracy theories.

And I did not say I was a great teacher, I was referring to the teacher who was confused to be a principal because she dressed so well. If she's so great, she should focus on what makes her so great and have evidence of such for any encounter with a principal.

And God forbid someone has anything negative to say about an ATR. There are great teachers in this pool who maybe need help with their process, but there are others who shouldn't be teaching end of story. Its not ALWAYS about a political game.

Chaz said...

I will say this one last time. The ATR I referred to is a great teacher who's only fault was that she was smarter than her Principal.

I still can't understand how anybody can tell me that a "newbie teacher" is better for the students than an experienced teacher. I guess you would want a newbie surgeon to operate on you.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous once again:
"I was referring to the teacher who was confused to be a principal" is written without proofreading. Instead of looking to find fault with others, you might be best to take a closer look at yourself and perhaps you might avoid making grammatical errors.

Anonymous said...

First of all, so much of the reform discussion is about moving the teaching profession into "the real world." Let's be honest, so many people who never wanted to be teachers before, or gave a hoot about kids, now are interested in education because it seems like a safe haven in economic hard times. Instead of trying to give all the workers the benefits that teachers have: due process before being fired, good health care benefits, and good vacation time, we want to destroy the benefits the teachers have so that everyone can be in the same poor sad boat. Another point I'd like to make is that many of the principals are upset that they gave up tenure. Now they want to inflict their pain on teachers. By giving up tenure, principals opened themselves up to being fired at any time. The result has been shameless fudging of numbers so that their schools look good because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Tenure is important in education. It allows people to take risks and be honest about what works and doesn't work without being fired. Without tenure principals refuse to take on students that will make their schools look bad.

TFJ said...

I agree with the last anon. It is a pity that the real mission of the DOE is not the students but money and control.

Chaz is right it is education on the cheap.

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaz said...

Any real educator knows that the Principals want cheap and inexperienced teachers. When these teachers don't work out, just get rid of them since they are untenured.

Look for 1600+ ATRs by mid August.

Chris said...

I am an ATR since june of 2008. I have had one year of hell, even though I was given a full program of teaching in the same school I was excessed from for this school year. During this time,I have applied to numerous schools through the mail, emails, called schools, faxed my resume etc I even went into schools after the school day was finished to meet with principals Now I am using the open marked system I have gotten a few interviews, only for middle school, which I do not mind even though I am high school teacher. Still I am without a job. I have done demo lessons also for some principals but still nothing has happened. I am so pissed at the comment made by one blogger about ATRs who cannot articulate well, and who present themselves falsely through their resumes. I am from the Caribbean and many of the Americans seem to look down on you because of your accent even though we speak fluent and perfect English. What does he mean when he says that our students deserve the best Many of our students are immigrants also who would love for their own people to teach them, not who feel they deserve to teach them. We do have these children welfare at heart and would do a far better job teaching them than these young newbie I am assuming he is a principal. This is the kind of mentality these young principals have They judge your accent and look down on you Even though I might have an accent I can assure you that my passing rate for the ELA regents together with my other Caribbean colleagues far exceeds those of the entitled American, working in our school and probably the one who is criticizing the speech of Atrs at interviews. These people are all about their speech and less about their work ethics and doing what is best for the kids. They are not sincere they are good at forging numbers and pretending to the kids After all. they have to ensure that these students remain in the lower economic bracket in society so that they can get the teaching jobs, and the lovely vacations, I am totally fed up with their pretense and prejudice.

Chris said...

I am an ATR since june of 2008. I have had one year of hell, even though I was given a full program of teaching in the same school I was excessed from for this school year. During this time,I have applied to numerous schools through the mail, emails, called schools, faxed my resume etc I even went into schools after the school day was finished to meet with principals Now I am using the open marked system I have gotten a few interviews, only for middle school, which I do not mind even though I am high school teacher. Still I am without a job. I have done demo lessons also for some principals but still nothing has happened. I am so pissed at the comment made by one blogger about ATRs who cannot articulate well, and who present themselves falsely through their resumes. I am from the Caribbean and many of the Americans seem to look down on you because of your accent even though we speak fluent and perfect English. What does he mean when he says that our students deserve the best Many of our students are immigrants also who would love for their own people to teach them, not who feel they deserve to teach them. We do have these children welfare at heart and would do a far better job teaching them than these young newbie I am assuming he is a principal. This is the kind of mentality these young principals have They judge your accent and look down on you Even though I might have an accent I can assure you that my passing rate for the ELA regents together with my other Caribbean colleagues far exceeds those of the entitled American, working in our school and probably the one who is criticizing the speech of Atrs at interviews. These people are all about their speech and less about their work ethics and doing what is best for the kids. They are not sincere they are good at forging numbers and pretending to the kids After all. they have to ensure that these students remain in the lower economic bracket in society so that they can get the teaching jobs, and the lovely vacations, I am totally fed up with their pretense and prejudice.

Chaz said...

Chris:

There will always be ignorant people who have no clue what is going on in the schools but comment anyway. I don't take them seriously and you shouldn't either.

Anonymous said...

Chris, no one should be too arrogant. Anyone can end up in the ATR pool. Good luck in your job hunt. I've also tried the open market and haven't gotten one interview.

Chris said...

I am sorry I had to vent so much, but I am truly tired of the push around we are getting. Thank you guy for your encouragement We all need it. Continue to try the OMS It will yield some results soon

Chaz said...

Chris


I have been told that there will be some movement after the OMTS is finished. Of course seeing is believing.

T4J said...

Chaz:

I love the picture and how true about the ATRs.

Chris said...

Chaz

Could you explain if you mean movement of Atrs or of transfer for other teachers A few teachers from our school found positions I think around 10 out of 80 staff excessed this June

Chaz said...

Chris

I take it the teachers that received the positions were young and possibly untenured. They are the only ones getting jobs to my knowledge.

Chris said...

Some are young in their 30's A few are older but started teaching as a second career, None are untenured But it seems to me every one who got jobs had some network of colleagues or friends helping them.

Chaz said...

Chris:

They do have something in common. They are inexpensive as teachers. Were any senior teachers making $75,000+ selected?

Chris said...

No, no senior teachers making that figure had gotten any job. In fact,I went to an interview this week and I was asked what was my salary, and if I was an ATR. I did not get the job I am so frustrated about going on these interviews I t all seem like a formality for these principals to prove that they are interviewing us, but not satisfied with us as teachers.

Chaz said...

Chris:

I really do think that the jobs will open up after the OMTS is finished and the Principals realize that they are wasting their time waiting for Tweed to allow them to hire newbie teachers. Stay in there.

Anonymous said...

thank goodness for all of the postings regarding ATR status. Makes me feel less alone and worried. I am not yet in ATR status...or am I? I am being excessed due to the fact that my school is closing. In fact, our principal stated that he had to excess approximately 70 teachers as a result of Klein's decision to close our school. I recently spoke with the Teacher Hiring Support Center (they seem to provide a variety of services for teachers in excess) and a woman there told me that they have seen the ATR pool increase from around 1200-4000. The way I see it, the ATR pool will continue to increase as "failing" schools are shut down (based on what research that this is an effective strategy, I wonder). Notwithstanding the fact that I am a teacher and want to teach in a classroom where I can build relationships with my students (and not simply be a substitute), I am also concerned about our current contract expiring. What's to keep the UFT/DOE from negotiating and putting some type of time limit on how long one can be an ATR before being fired? Are there any avenues through which we can voice our opinion to the contract negotiators? I'd love to see all 4000 of us ATR's rally or lobby somewhere and make some noise! Or perhaps we could all write grants to open our own small schools! And what about compiling accurate data on who we ATR's are. For example, how many of us are out there, what percentage of us have what ratings, percentage of us that have double master's degrees, additional training, letters of recommendation from our supervisors etc. I think publishing this in the New York Times might be the way to go. That or taking the DOE to court for age discrimination.

Chaz said...

Yes, you are an ATR. However, the good news there is no time limit to be an ATR. As for 4000 ATRs, did she really say that?

As for an age discrimination lawsuit? Forget about it, gthe union buried that idea. See my April 14, 2009 post.