Monday, October 03, 2016
The Truth About The ATR Pool.
I am sick and tired of reading erroneous media articles about ATRs on how they are "bad or unwanted teachers" and that there should be a time limit to be hired for a permanent position without attempting to understand the obstacles placed by the DOE on the ATRs in obtaining a permanent position. Let's speak the truth about the ATR pool.
First, one can be an ATR for their entire career and the DOE cannot impose a time limit on them. The ATRs are protected by the union contract and for all the abuse our union leadership has allowed the DOE to do to us. Field supervisors, rotation, forced placements, reduced due process rights, and general disrespect. The one thing they will not cede to the DOE is an ATR time limit. Even if our union leadership tried to give the City the right to impose an ATR time limit, New York State civil service law would stop them in their tracks as it requires that any layoff would be seniority based and if the DOE tried to layoff ATRs they would be in violation of civil service law and in particular State Education Law 2588 which Mayor Bloomberg tried and failed to get rescinded. I know of an ATR who has been an ATR for a decade and he expects to retire as an ATR a decade from now. Finally, if the union did allow for an ATR time limit in a future contract (highly unlikely) all other City and State unions would immediately file a lawsuit calming it violates State law and make our union a pariah to the rest of the unions.
Second, the majority of ATRs were excessed due to closing schools (162 under Mayor Bloomberg) or reduced classes in their subject area. Only 23% were ATRs due to 3020-a discipline charges and had won their termination hearings. The ATRs were people unlucky enough to have picked a school targeted for closing by the Bloomberg Administration (32%) or in a subject area program that was either eliminated or reduced (39%).
Third, schools don't like picking up ATRs for two reasons, their salary and seniority not that they are "bad teachers". That is a myth started by then Chancellor Joel Klein and continues under the news media, deformer organizations, and E4E. The DOE, for their own political purposes use this propaganda to keep the ATR pool a thousand plus strong year after year and is willing to waste $100 million dollars or more to suit their ideological philosophy..
Fourth, the Fair Student Funding (fsf) used by the schools penalizes principals who hire veteran teachers. The faf forces principals to hire the "cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools. Its little wonder that the average ATR has 23 years of experience and 53 years of age since they are too expensive for many schools to permanently hire.
Fifth, the rise of the Leadership Academy Principals in which are taught to be the CEO of their school and they don't want veteran teachers who have institutional memory on what its like to effectively and collaboratively run a school . There are fewer and fewer instructional leaders who appreciate the institutional memory and classroom experience veteran teachers bring with them.
Finally, the DOE promotes an "education on the cheap" policy with school budgets 14% below what fsf requires, limiting Regents Science programs to 4 classes of instruction instead of five as the rest of the State has, putting too many students with IEP's in ICT classes, and make sure they have the maximum contractual limit on class sizes, all to save on teachers they need to hire. In addition, schools rather give their existing teachers a sixth class or put teachers not certified in the subject area than hire an additional teacher.
So when you hear or read that ATRs are "bad teachers" you just need to read this post to know the truth,