Friday, May 27, 2016
The Open Market Transfer System Is A Joke For Veteran Teachers.
I received my online edition of the "Organizer" and I was struck how the author, a "Unity" retiree is drinking the leadership's "kool-ade" on how the Open Market Transfer System (OMTS) is a success. The author, Gene J. Mann, states that the OMTS allows 4,000 teachers to transfer yearly, compared to only 300 annually before the OMTS. While, I do not dispute his union supplied figures, my question is what is the actual experience breakdown of the 4,000 teachers in the OMTS who change schools?
My educated guess is that few of the 4,000 teachers who change schools through the OMTS are veteran teachers with ten or more years of service. In fact, I believe the vast majority of the OMTS are actually untenured teachers who make less money that the average teacher salary of the receiving school which allows the Principal to have extra money to spend in his or her budget. Moreover, with schools receiving no more than 92% of the "fair student funding", few principals are willing to hire veteran teachers. Of course neither our union leadership or the DOE are willing to supply the nreakdown of teacher experience who successfully transferred to another school.
One of the more unaddressed issues of the OMTS is the failure of struggling schools and schools with a challenging student population to retain their better teachers. The OTMS allows for a mass exodus of teachers from the schools who are in most need of good teachers and transfer to the better schools in the system. The result is that the struggling schools suffer from high teacher turnover, and an unstable school environment, not conducive for student academic achievement. In other words, the OMTS ensures that struggling schools continues to struggle.
Interestingly, as these struggling schools hire an inexperienced teacher corp annually to replace the departing teachers, averaging 5,000 in the last couple of years, there are almost 2,000 ATRs languishing without a permanent position. The ATRs cost the DOE over $100 million annually and the union's failure to demand that the DOE "do the right thing" and offer the ATR a permanent placement in their district. Instead, our disconnected union leadership allowed the DOE to become "second class citizens", subject to field supervisor "flyby observations" and potential termination.
While retiree Gene J. Mann can write about how great the OMTS is, the truth is that its basically a useless tool for veteran teachers.