Tuesday, October 18, 2016
How Is The ATR Financial Inicentive Working? Not Too Well So Far.
At the beginning of October the DOE informed principals they can hire ATRs at a steep financial discount for the next three years. The schools get the ATR for free this year, at half price the second year, and at 75% the third year. Of course, the ATR is at full price thereafter and must be placed into their rightful seniority rank in case of school excessing. Since that time, two weeks later a grand total of 20 ATRs have been snapped up by the schools. That's right out of 1,304 ATRs only 20 have been offered permanent positions for the mathematically challenged only 1.5% have obtained permanent employment. Of course, there is no guarantee that the 20 placements came from the 1,304 rotating ATRs, some may have been provisionally assigned and were converted to a permanent position so the percentage may be even less than 1.5%.
There is no secret that the schools have hidden vacancies and for one reason or another failed or deliberately decided not to fill them while waiting for the perfect candidate. Now its October and schools have found that they must fill their vacancies and cannot hire from the outside until the second semester. Moreover, especially in the Bronx and the many high poverty struggling schools, they find themselves desperately seeking teachers to replace the recently hired who have already quit and getting no nibbles. Add that to a shortage of teaching candidates as more college graduates are abandoning teaching as a career and a looming teacher shortage is just down the road.
One would think the DOE's ATR incentive would have schools falling all over themselves to hire ATRs but the truth be told the DOE has done such a wonderful job demonizing ATRs as bad and unwanted teachers that with their encouragement, have enlisted the education reformers and media to push for an end of "last in, first out", for New York City teachers while demanding a time limit for ATRs when they know quite well that the DOE$'s own hiring policies penalize schools that hires a veteran teacher. Without a stick the DOE's carrot has no consequences for the schools if they reject the DOE's offer.
As more of the recently hired "newbies" quit or are terminated due to hostile classroom environment, student discipline issues, and more respected and lucrative employment elsewhere (about 50% quit within five years) maybe, just maybe, the ATR financial incentive might gain traction but I'm not holding my breath since 25% of the schools have Leadership Academy principals and they are brainwashed in believing that ATRs will contaminate their younger and untenured teaching staff and don't even bother to interview ATRs, least not hire them.
Will the ATR financial incentive reduce the ATR pool? Only time will tell but only if the DOE also employs a stick with the carrot.
Note: The ATR incentive is for teachers only and not for other UFT members.