Tuesday, July 18, 2017
The Truth Why ATRs Are Not Being Picked Up By Schools.
I was disgusted by the self-serving ATR bashing article by non-educator Daniel Weisberg who, once again, falsely claimed that ATRs were "unwanted", ":bad", or had :discipline issues. Mr. Weisberg called the "forced placement" of ATRs as "the dance of the lemons". When the facts are so very different. Mr. Weisberg's suggestion is to give the ATRs a time limit of between 6-12 months to find a position or be fired. Which is what happened in Chicago and Washington D.C. that lead to mass firings of veteran teachers and the election loss of the union caucus to dissidents.
Interestingly, Mr. Weisberg bragged that he was responsible for the 2005 union contract that created the ATR crisis and therefore, he is responsible for the DOE wasting over 100 million dollars annually since 2006 or over one billion dollars! Moreover, he is also responsible for the Open Market Transfer System that has resulted in high poverty and minority schools to have inferior teachers, new to the profession, who transfer from these schools to better schools. If I am Mr. Weisberg, I would stick my head into the ground and hide my shame that I cost the City schools over a billion dollars and screwed the poor and minority schools. of excellent teachers
Back to the facts, the real reason that principals are not hiring ATRs has nothing to do with the ATRs being "bad" teachers. It has everything to do with money, control, and power.
Fair Student Funding: School budgets have not recovered from the 2009 recession and is only funded at 92% of their fair funding. Moreover, this upcoming school year the DOE, flush with money, has cut school budgets back to 90% of their fair funding. To make matters worse, Fair Student Funding actually penalizes schools who hire veteran teachers and for far too many principals the school budget overrides what's good for the students of the school.
Seniority: Once a school hires a veteran teacher (ATR or not), that teacher is placed in his or her seniority rank and in worse case scenarios can cause a school to exceass a younger teacher that the school wants to retain. Therefore, principals are reluctant to hire a veteran teacher and even if the teacher works out, I doubt the Principal will be given the ATR an "effective" observation, knowing his salary and seniority will be dumped on the school for the next school year and many more years after.
Institutional Memory: Many principals don't like veteran teachers because they understand the union contract and know their rights. This is known as institutional memory. Principals like untenured teachers because when the Principal yells jump, they say "high high"? While a veteran teacher will respond with "Why"?
Demonitization Of The ATRs: Since the signing of the 2005 contract, ATRs have been labeled with the tag of "unwanted" or "bad" teachers. Even a month after Chancellor Joel Klein signed the 2005 contract he told principals in the Principal's Weekly that ATRs were teachers that nobody should hire and that in the next contract he intended to include a time limit, which he couldn't do, due to New York State Civil Service rules and the union leadership who refused to even consider it since they knew what happened in Chicago and Washington D.C as their union leadership was voted out of office. .
In summary, the ATRs are not getting positions because of the four issues discussed above. They are Salary, Seniority, Institutional Memory, and the Demonitization of the ATRs by the DOE, lead by Chancellor Carmen Farina, an old Bloomberg Deputy Chancellor who shared the poisonous ideology about ATRs, along with their media allies. For more insights on the ATR issue read today's ICEUFT and NYC Educator posts.
Update: It appears the ATR incentive was unsuccessful and has been extended to July 28th. Just another failed ATR incentive that had no ATR input. When will they ever learn?