The DOE policy not to place excessed teachers in vacancies has resulted in over 1900 teachers without a permanent assignment as the school year begins. This destructive and wasteful policy should not exist but it does, Thanks to ex-Chancellor Joel Klein and ex UFT President Randi Wiengarten as a result of the infamous 2005 contract. Belatedly, and reluctantly, the DOE has authorized their Teacher Hiring Support Center (THSC) to develop a toolbox how ATRs can be hired by telling teachers what principals want in a teacher. While the THSC means well, it is really unrealistic in this time of school budget cuts, (un)fair student funding, and Tweed's continuous attacks on senior teachers.
Here is what the THSC claims what principals want in a teacher.
- Knowledge of teaching skills.
- Classroom management skills.
- Strong communication skills.
- Knowledge of subject matter.
- Knowledge of student assessment strategies.
- Inexpensive teachers.
- Non-tenured teachers.
- Young, preferably under 35 years of age.
- Come from alternate certification programs (TFA or TF).
- Willingness to take on extra duties without compensation.
While I might believe that the THSC is sincere about what principals want in hiring a teacher, the destructive policies by the leadership at Tweed and the rise of the "Leadership Academy Principal" has in reality, resulted in only the inexpensive, younger, and non-tenured teacher in excess getting job offers.
It is disappointing that the DOE is two-faced when it comes to placing ATRs. On one hand the DOE encourages the ATR to go to "job fairs" and apply for vacancies on their excessed teacher website while on the other hand discourages principals from hiring "great teachers" because they make too much money and then demonize them in the press as "bad, incompetent and lazy because of their failure to obtain a position. For senior ATRs it is a "stacked deck" against them and it takes a rare Principal who would hire based upon what is best for the school's students than on what is best for the Principal.
Finally, as of today, August 30th, all ATRs have been assigned to their schools and they could find their assignments by going on the Excessed Staff Selection System. These assignments are good until October 9th when the DOE can send you to another school. These placements do not tell the ATR if they are filling a long-term position or that it is as a day to day substitute in the school.