Saturday, December 04, 2010

What will Happen To The ATRs Now, When In The Past Principals Wouldn't Hire Them At Sale Prices?

The "ATR agreement" has expired in which smart and savvy principals can pick up an experienced teacher for the cost of a "newbie teacher" on their school budget. Imagine, picking up a veteran teacher who already has classroom management skills and understands the curriculum without paying the full salary. What principal would not jump at the chance? Apparently quite a few principals did not take Tweed up on their offer and unbelievably the school system still has 1,232 ATRs. Why would principals not want to pick up experienced teachers at bargain basement prices? Simple, the principals are not doing what is best for the students but what is best for themselves. This is called "Principal first and children last" The primary reasons that principals did not want ATRs in their schools is based upon three factors. Principal control of their schools, funding options, and discrimination associated with the ATR label. Let's look at the three issues in more detail.

Control Of The School:

Under the Joel Klein Administration, the principals were treated as the CEO of their schools and given independence on how to spend the money allocated to the school. Unfortunantly, for the parents, students, and staff, many of the principals did not allocate the school funds wisely. This especially true of the "Leadership Academy principals" who seem to think that funding their "pet projects" was more important then class size considerations. Tweed publicly stated that the principals are doing what's best for their schools. However, Tweed allowed the principals to ignore targeted money to reduce class size and use the scarce funds as they saw fit and it was in many cases what was best for the principals and not what was best for the schools.

Funding Options:

It is no secret that the schools have seen significant reductions in school funding and in some cases, up to 12% less than two years ago and further reductions are expected This has resulted in many schools cutting out after school programs and many clubs due to lack of funding. To further hamstrung the principals, Tweed came up with the "fair student funding fiasco" that severely limited principals from hiring highly qualified teachers due to their high salaries. Instead many principals hired cheaper and inexperienced teachers because of the budget limitations imposed by the "fair student funding fiasco". One frustrated Principal told me a story about how he wanted to hire a Math teacher who he worked with as the Math AP in another school but could not carry his salary on his payroll due to the "fair student funding fiasco". When I asked him why he just didn't hire a Math teacher from the ATR list, he just frowned and said "that the ATRs are failed teachers". That brings me to the ATR discrimination issue.

ATR Discrimination:

Even the union leadership knows that there is discrimination when teachers are ATRs. How many times did we hear Tweed claim that the ATRs are "lazy, unwanted, and are failed teachers" that nobody wants. What is not said is the ageism issue. Many of the ATRs are older teachers and if you don't think they are being discriminated against due to their age? I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Remember, the age discrimination lawsuit against the DOE was dropped by Randi Weingarten as a condition of the "ATR Agreement". Nowhere does Tweed bring up the fact they have closed hundreds of schools, starved others by reducing funding and discouraged good students from going to "targeted schools" (See Jamaica High School) and Here, allowed principals to file frivolous charges to remove teachers from their schools, and stopped the Districts from placing excessed teachers in schools before "newbie teachers" can be hired. The ATR crises is entirely the creation of Joel Klein who wanted a cheaper and expendable teaching staff at the expense of students and experienced teachers.

What Happens Now?:

The union leadership is trying to negotiate an extension of the "ATR Agreement". However, Tweed shows little interest in doing this. Since it will take the rest of the school year for Chancellor-elect Cathie Black to come up to speed on this issue, I see an extended period of uncertainty on any resolution of the ATR crises. I predict that the existing ATRs will just be moved next year to another school. Hopefully, the "ATR Agreement" is renewed and principals will realize that they must hire the ATRs since the hiring freeze will continue through the 2011-2012 school year. Otherwise, nothing will change for the ATRs.

I take my union leadership's word that they will never agree to an ATR time limit and believe that the union will not negotiate on such a time limit since this would result in the erosion of teacher due process and start the teachers down a slippery slope in eliminating seniority and tenure protection, a third rail for union issues. Just see what happened in Chicago and Washington D.C. when the leadership fails to protect their members. Regardless, look for Tweed to demand a time limit and their media mouthpieces echo it. However, our union will easily resist such attempts to reduce tenure protections, backed by all the unions. Yes, if it was just our union, maybe they would cave but it is all of NYSUT and the other Civil Services unions who supply the backbone on this issue. Therefore, look for Tweed to eventually surrender on the ATR issue and given the recession and budget problems, force principals to select ATRs for all vacancies.....I hope.


Anonymous said...

My school hired 4 ATRs and has 2 more on central payroll working at my school. All were "S" rated in the staff selection system. Three had been rubberized, paid a fine and got their "S".
All 6 have been nothing but problems from day one. Four are blatantly and obviously incompetent as teachers. The worst. The other 2 have persecution complexes and regularly air their gripes against society to the kids whenever possible. They authentically did not want to be placed into a school where they have to teach.
Call it ATR prejudice, but there is a reason why many of these teachers were ATR'ed in the first place and are now damaged goods.
Sorry to disagree with your "teachers are always right" mantra, but in this case a time limit- perhaps except for those coming from closing schools- is needed to rid the system of authentically bad teachers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble. The ATR's will be sacrificed by the bald pimp and the rank and file will rubber stamp it to get a shitty raise.

If the number of teachers in the ATR trap doubles they will still be sent packing.

The union only cares about the union. They will sacrifice whatever people that the DoE requires. The unity mafia will stay in power.

If there is a 12 month expiration on ATR's they will crow about the "victory" they wrangled in "negotiations". They will say that the system wanted six months and they won 12!

I'm sick of these charlatans and equally sick of those that act as a cheerleading section for these pigs.

ATRs are damaged goods and will never be an easy sell because of the concerted pr campaign against them.

The average teacher thinks that they are safe and it can't happen to them, so they will sell out the mostly senior teacher ATR pool in the next contract.

I find the comments about the ATRs in the first post to be repulsive. If any of those who judge the ATR's had the horrible experience of being in that position, maybe you wouldn't be so judgemental.

I think that in a matter of time there will be thousands more ATR's. When the Reichchancellor closes your school you too will be an ATR. Lets just see what others write about you.

Lets not be delusional about what the unity pigs and the bald pimp will not do in the next catastrophe/contract. Expect the worst.


Angry Nog

Anonymous said...

To anon 8:20 am:

If you were unfairly targeted and maligned like what most rubberized teachers went through, most likely you would have the same feeling of being a victim. But I will not call them bad teachers, what make them bad teachers who have been perfectly ordinary teachers for decades?

Having said that, I have to agree with you that in this environment of plenty of supplies with shrinking demands, ATRs are the damaged goods just like any perfect goods that sit on the shelves for too long and are not picked up for one reason or other.

ATRs are doomed to be taken off the payroll in our next contract, it is just the manner of doing it with less pain or with more pain to them.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:20. I would like to know what school you are talking about... "My school hired 4 ATRs and has 2 more on central payroll working at my school."
I bet you are just NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. You must be one of the new teachers that is always text messaging in your cell phone and pretends to be the best.

Anonymous said...

Listened to Black interviewd on ABC today and she's already going straight for the jugular...end seniority...change assessments from U/S system , which already has been allowed by Mulgrew.

Tell me, WHAT DA FUCK DOES MULGREW DO ANYWAY!!! If I were really on the level, I'd be SCREAMING to the press about so many things Bloomberg is doing. SO MANY things...and what does he do or say ??? How they have not really raised performance levels...and how many times they have lied about it. The domino strategy they employ by crowding poor performing kids inot the next union school down the street to bring down THEIR stats...the phoney graduation tricks they are playing to forge phony stats...ALL OF THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST POSSIBILITIES of those whoo stand to profit from this hostile takeover...HE SHOULD BE SCREAMING THIS TO THE PRESS//BUT WHAT DOES HE DO???? Nada....what a cardboard cutout...

Chaz said...

Some of the best teachers are and were ATRs. Many of them were great teachers in closing schools or were targeted by principals. Granted, some ATRs are bad teachers. However, they are a minority. Your faulty conclusion about ATRs are whats wrong with you new teachers.

As for an ATR time limit? I just do not think so.

Invictus said...

Yes, there are questionable ATRs or ATRs who might not work well with staff of different schools where they are there are questionable employees who might also not be a good fit with certain institutions.

Anonymous, whomever you might be, the line that you use to have exemptions for ATRs "those coming from closing schools" is a exemption that will be applicable to the great majority of people in the ATR pool...which makes me wonder, what sort of criteria would you use to let go of these ATRs?

I honestly think that people out there in the public have ridiculous expectations on the caliber a "teacher" needs to be in order to be considered worthy of employment. I estimate that from 100K teachers, a little bit more than 1% are in the ATR pool as of now...Should we cut off unemployment for all the Americans who have been unable to find jobs in the past 3 years? Well, it is happening and it will get worse but in the case of teachers, the vast majority have been put there because of a created crisis.

People need to start seeing the root of the ATR issue instead of fingerpointing and holding them to ridiculous standards.

With that mentality, I will see one day that there will be ATR pools for the bottom 1-5% of doctors, engineers, firemen etc... See how that would sound.

Smellington G. Worthington III said...

I say, Cathie Black will fire these characters for sure. Can't you punters see how that money can be used to benefit those of us who actually know how to use it?

Get with the program, chaps.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

WAKE UP: Muslims use a 'trick' to get reach a «demographic advantage»: The suppression of the rights of the women!...

Call spread in the INTERNET:
- Unmarried fathers in traditionally monogamous societies!!!
{Sexual education without Taboos or Neo-Taboos: Artificial wombs - a scientific priority research}

There are still dumb people, who believe in fairy-tales,... but we must look reality into the eyes:
- In traditionally polygamous societies, only the strongest males have children.
- However, to be able to survive, many companies had the need to mobilize/motivate the weaker males in the way, that they were interested in the fight for the protection of their identity!... In fact, the analysis of the sex taboo, (in traditionally monogamous societies), we see that the real purpose of the sex taboo was the social integration of sexually weaker males.

In traditionally polygamous societies is it natural, that only the strongest men have children, NEVERTHELESS the traditionally monogamenen societies must accept their history! That is, these societies can´t treat the sexually weaker males like the trash cans of society! This means, that men (with good health) rejected by females should have the legitimate right to an ARTIFICIAL womb...

COMMENT: Sexual incompetence doesn't mean to be useless... in fact, the weaker males already showed their value: the technologically advanced societies... are traditionally monogamous societies!

COMMENT 2: Nowadays, on one hand many women are looking for men with a bigger sexual competence, specially men from traditionally polygamous societies: in these societies, only the stronger men have children, they choose them and refine the quality of the men.
On the other hand, nowadays many men from traditionally monogamous societies look for females from other societies, that are economically weakened [soft]...

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Chaz said...
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Chaz said...

Unity HacK:

I told you that unless you stayed on task on the posts I write I would delete your comments. Obviously, you have a problem understanding this and that is why your asinine comments were deleted.

As for being fictitious? The only fiction is ythat you are a classroom teacher. You haven't been in the classroom for almost a decade. Why don't you admit that you are being paid $137,000 annually from our dues to do the union leadership's bidding.

Anonymous said...

Sanctions Are Recommended for 'Rubber Room' Lawyers

New York Law Journal December 13, 2010.

Why not do a story on something that matters instead of trashing unity.

Chaz said...


I have nothing to do with the lawsuit. If the two lawyers did not provide the proper evidence and Judge Peck penalized them. So be it.

As for not posting the case? I didn't think the lawsuit had merit when it was shown to me. Hence, I did not write about it.

Finally, I will trash anybody who fails to protect teachers. Be it the DOE, UFT, Mayor Bloomberg, and yes even you!