Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Former Tweed Lawyer, Daniel Weisberg Fails To Tell The Whole Story.
It seems the education media offensive continues against the ATRs as the New York Post published an opinion piece from non educator and ex flunky of Joel Klein and former Tweed lawyer Daniel Weisberg. Mr. Weisberg is now Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The New Teacher Project (TNTP) which places "newbie teachers" in high poverty schools. In his article, Mr. Weisberg made no bones about that ATR teachers are "bad teachers" as the heading to his column states. Mr Weisberg explains how proud he is to have negotiated the ATR pool into existence by his "mutual consent" agreement that allows principals to decide who to hire.
Mr. Weisberg falsely claims that many of the teachers in the ATR pool are not looking for a position. In fact he claims 60% don't want a position because they haven't bothered to apply on the Open Market Transfer System. Of course he failed to mention the Open Market Transfer System is a joke and iis only good for lower paid untenured teachers who want to escape high poverty schools as highly experienced teachers never even get an interview! I wonder why that seemed to have slipped his mind? While Mr Weisberg doesn't say the ATRs are undesirable, however, if you read between the lines he does insinuate it by saying principals rather not hire them. His solution is a six month to one year ATR time limit and then be terminated if they fail to land a position. Just like all other education reformer proposals which ignores the real cause of the ATRs not being able to obtain a classroom position. Of course, Mr. Weisberg conveniently left out why there is an ATR pool and why principals are not hiring them. Why would he print the truth since it would show what a hypocrite he is? Here is what Mr. Weisberg decided to leave out in his article.
First, there is no mention of the "fair student funding formula" that discourages principals from hiring the "best teachers" just the "cheapest". Combine that with a 14% reduction in school budgets and no Principal will be willing to hire a senior teacher no matter how "qualified" that teacher is.
Second, he works for an organization that supplies the "cheapest teachers" to the DOE and the "fair student funding formula" is a godsend to his organization. It matters little that most of the "newbie teacher" will be long gone before they ever become a "quality teacher" as defined by the NCLB. For Mr. Weisberg its not about what's best for the students, its what's best for his organization.
Finally, he knows quite well, since he negotiated the contract with the union, that the union can't reasonably put a time limit on the ATRs since it may violate Civil Service Law and start a "slippery slope" and a reduction of Municipal employee rights throughout the City. The result would be a Municipal union lawsuit that would put a halt to any such action.
Mr. Weisberg is just like all the other non-educator pseudo-reformers who ignores the truth just to publish his flawed point of view and despite his claims it's not what's best for the students of the New York City Schools but what's best for his organization..