Friday, October 30, 2009
Its "D-Day" For The DOE Principals As All Vacancies Must Be Filled By Today
Today is the day when Tweed has threatened the principals with reducing their budgets if they do not fill all their teaching vacancies. However, the DOE is eerily quiet on progress to achieve their stated goal to reduce the ATR pool. The Daily News reported on the lack of information about Tweed's progress in reducing the ATR pool other than issuing a vague statement that more ATRs are being hired this week. The question is in this game of "chicken" between the principals and Tweed, who really won? The latest evidence is that it appears that both sides may claim a partial victory but it also seems that the ATRs lost. Wait a second, how could this be? Let me try to explain what I think has happened here.
Exemptions: Many principals who knew how to play the system were able to receive exemptions from hiring ATRs for their vacancies. The last number published by the DOE was 125 exceptions were issued. However, that was more than a month ago. I suspect many more have been issued since then. Didn't the four year clueless wonder Ariel Sachs write how her Principal found all 37 ATRs unacceptable for her vacancy? What makes Ariel Sachs more qualified than the 37 ATRs? My guess is that she is young and makes much less money than the ATRs rejected by her Principal.
Hiring newbie special education teachers: Some principals have already been caught hiring newbie special education teachers to teach mainstream classes by claiming them to be CTT or inclusion classes. If the newbie special education teacher has a multi-subject license, the Principal will claim the teacher is qualified to teach a subject in the middle schools and get around the hiring freeze.
Consolidating classes:, A select group of very savvy principals have found that consolidating classes which increases class sizes and reduces teacher vacancies can free up funds for other school uses. The money can be used for the Principal's pet projects, after school programs, and other per session activities controlled by the Principal. The redistribution of the budget may not benefit the students but certainly helps principals in allocating school funds.
As you can see Tweed wins because they did not rescind the hiring freeze and a few principals reluctantly hired excessed teachers. The principals won as they received exemptions to hire who they pleased or consolidated classes to free up school funds without losing money for vacancies that no longer exist. However, the ATRs lost as there are still more than 1,000 ATRs without a classroom as both the DOE and the principals found or provided ways not to hire them. As for the children? This is and never was about the children. "Children Last" continues.