Sunday, March 25, 2012
I Predict That The ATR Crises Will Really Explode In The 2012-13 School Year .
One of my friends told me that his Principal had informed the Assistant Principals in his "Turnaround School" that the Network Leader had notified him that Tweed is encouraging the Principals of "Turnaround Schools" to hire the maximum amount of "new blood" (newbie teachers) for their school for the 2012-13 school year. That means that 40% of the new staff will have no real classroom experience and already struggling schools will struggle even more as their academically low achieving students will be the "guinea pigs" for teachers who themselves must learn curriculum and acquire classroom management skills. The result will be an explosion of the ATR crises in the NYC school system. I anticipate 4,000+ ATRs will be floating around the NYC public schools on a weekly basis in the 2012-13 school year, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and his pet poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, this will be the largest amount of ATRs ever since the 2005 contract which allowed for their creation. How did I obtain the 4,000+ figure?
First, there are approximately 900 ATRs currently going week to week to schools in their district. Second, There are about 400 teachers that have provisional appointments for the present school year and may be put back into the ATR pool at year's end. Third, there will be 1,750 teachers who will no longer have a classroom assignment in the 33 "Turnaround Schools". Fourth, there will be 26 schools closing and with other large schools already going through the closing process (Jamaica, Beach Channel etc). This could result in 1,000 more teachers who will become ATRs. Finally, everybody believes that the Bloomberg Administration and the DOE will lift the hiring freeze by the summer as the City's economy slowly recovers. This will severely limit classroom positions for highly-paid experienced teachers as Principals watch their tight budgets. In fact some of the more unscrupulous "Leadership Academy Principals" will continue to find ways to eliminate senior teacher positions in some subjects and hire "newbie teachers" for other subjects who will end up teaching the same type of courses as the excessed senior teachers were.
The ATR crises, solely manufactured by Mayor Bloomberg and Ex-Chancellor Joel Klein, with the union's acceptance back in 2005 is likely to cost the DOE some $400 million dollars in salary and benefits. This will allow the DOE to shift the blame to the union by claiming the union continues to protect "bad teachers" when the truth is that Principals don't want senior and high paid teachers on their tight school budget. However, the DOE will tell the mass media that already large and rising class sizes, lack of resources, and tight budgets would magically disappear if they could only get rid of the ATRs. The DOE has convinced the NYC newspapers that the ATRs are the "Jews" of the education system, it is all their fault for the problems that plague the NYC schools.
I truly hope I am wrong about the 4,000+ ATRs but unless the union takes a more "pro-active" position and stops the Bloomberg Administration in its tracks, This scenario is very much a reality.