Sunday, February 09, 2014
The Daily News Continues To Practice Yellow Journalism.
The Daily News in today's edition has again disparaged the ATRs and wants them terminated after a six month time limit. The editorial calls the ATRs the "walking dead" and "unwanted". Furthermore, the editorial claimed that the ATRs are of "poor quality" and the students would be "unlucky" to have them teaching in their class.
Of course the Daily News editorial board's ideological slant is evident in the article since they once again fail to identify the real reason there are over 2,000 ATRs in the system. Let's look at what the editorial failed to mention.
Fair student funding:
There is no mention of the biggest factor for principals not hiring ATRs, the "fair student funding" formula that restricts principals from hiring the "best teachers". Instead they are encouraged to hire the "cheapest teachers" and subject the students to inexperienced and untested teachers, many who will be gone from the classroom before they ever become a "quality teacher" as many ATRs are. In other words, its all about the money and not what's best for the students.
Nowhere in the editorial do they mention that the age of the teacher is a factor in hiring ATRs. The data that I obtained previously showed that the average age of the ATRs are in their 50s and few long-term ATRs are under 40 years of age. Did the Daily News bother to look into why the ATR pool has a disproportionate amount of older teachers in it? Of course not.
School budget reductions:
Since 2008 the average school budget has been reduced by 14%, forcing principals to increase class sizes, reduce staff, and have fewer resources. Therefore, when combined with the "fair student funding" directive, principals will stretch their budget by giving their staff a sixth period and hire the lowest salaried teachers, usually "newbies", even if that is not what's best for the students.
The editorial wants a six month time limit for ATRs to obtain a position, as if the other issues listed previously does not exist, and asks that this be part of the next contract. However, they know full well that the Bloomberg Administration had offered the union the two 4% raises, including "retroactive raises" if the union agreed to an ATR time limit. The union refused since it will create a "slippery slope" that would eventually undermine Civil Service Law and that would prompt the other Municipal unions to file a lawsuit to stop it. There is a "snowball's chance in hell" for the union to negotiate n ATR time limit and the Daily News should know that.
Weekly ATR rotation system:
The editorial board falsely claimed that before the weekly rotation system, the ATRs "hang out and get paid". The reality is that many principals gave ATRs full classroom schedules and were able to reduce class sizes for all the teachers since the schools were getting "free help". This was a "win-win" for the schools since the principals recieved free help while the ATRs felt needed and part of the school culture. The ATRs were desired by principals rather than being "unwanted" as the Daily News falsely claims since it helped the resource starved schools improve their instruction by getting an experienced teacher who can help mentor the "newbies" the principal was being forced to hire. By contrast the weekly ATR rotation system is a waste of talent, money, and is demoralizing to all staff.
Leadership Academy Principals:
There is no mention of the inept, incompetent, and poor quality of the "Leadership Academy Principals" many of them with limited classroom experience and quite a few who never achieved tenure! Yet the Daily News gives them a free pass and puts the blame on the teachers for a school's failure and the hiring practices.. You can found many of these principals here.
A real newspaper would investigate both sides of an issue and bring up all the facts, regardless how inconvenient it is. On the other hand a propaganda rag will leave out the facts and twist, pervert, and change information to suit their ideological aims. Which one is the New York Daily News?