Saturday, January 31, 2009

Let's Get One Thing Straight

There are hundreds of ATRs out there that do not have regular teaching jobs through no fault of their own.

They taught at schools that were closed down.

They taught programs that were discontinued.

They are over 30 years old.

They are not young and beautiful.

They don't belong to the right ethnic group.

They have been teaching for more than 5 years.

They have been union members speaking out for people like you and your children.

The UFT sold them out when they gave up the right of seniority transfers and the Principal's got the right to hire only those that fit the mold.

I'm not an ATR. I don't like change and by staying in the same school for more than 20 years I have unknowingly protected myself. My school is a good school so it is not likely to be closed down or reorganized. I teach math so there is no way that my position can be done away with. I am safe.

But, suppose I was not the teacher described above. Would it matter that I have been teaching for over 30 years? Would it matter that I am well liked by parents and students? Would it matter that I always get good results and that I spend countless hours of my own time helping my students? Would this have meant anything?

No Principal would ever higher me. Once I leave this job, I know the door will be slammed behind me. Exit only. Unlike years before, retired teachers who changed their minds were welcomed back. Once I leave I know no one will let me come back. (That is why I am holding on now--until I am sure I am really ready to go.)

Check out this article in the Chief to read about this ATR art teacher who has done for more for her students than all you doubters out there will ever know.

Our wonderful union is running workshops on how to interview and how to write a resume. These people are not incompetents. They know how to do this. Our union is making videos to show them off. Since when have teachers become pets to show off in a store window?

All you newbies out there, think ahead. If you are fortunate, you will one day be a senior teacher like the ones out there now. You too might be an ATR. Maybe you should start taking an active role in the union now.

Let's stop blaming the ATRs for the position they are in. Let's stop blaming everyone and put these teachers back in the classroom where they belong and where they want to be. Let's help the city solve its budget crisis by letting the people already on the city payroll do the job they were hired to do.

I know that this blog is an open forum for people to comment and to express their thoughts but some of those words make me sick.


Mr. Talk said...

All I can say is, Amen and Amen.

Those idiotic comments are either the by mayor's minions or some poor misinformed goops who got yelled at in kindergarten and never got over it.

Anonymous said...

I will reprint the NYTimes article here. Note, not once did Randi protest Klein's use of the word "undesirable" or call this new measure unfair and discriminatory. It took her 3 years to wake up only because some ATRs took this to court.

Klein Halts Plan to Make Schools Take Unassigned Teachers
Published: September 2, 2006

On the eve of the new academic year, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein abruptly scrapped plans to impose a hiring freeze that would have forced principals to fill any last vacancies with unassigned teachers already in the system.

Mr. Klein said yesterday that it was more important for principals to choose their own staff than it was for the city to place potentially undesirable veteran teachers who must stay on the payroll even if no school offers them a position.

The decision to lift the freeze, just hours before it was to begin, was aimed at bolstering Mr. Klein’s position in a labor dispute over 44 unassigned assistant principals. To circumvent provisions in their contract that would force the assistant principals on principals who do not want them, Mr. Klein said he would created unneeded jobs for them, wasting as much as $5.2 million.

His stance on teachers once again allowed Mr. Klein to portray himself as a champion of autonomy and authority for principals.

City education officials said they believed most of the unassigned teachers would find jobs in the system. But Mr. Klein’s move raised at least a possibility that the city could be forced to pay the salaries of as many as 1,500 unassigned teachers, at a cost of nearly $100 million.

Officials said that 1,001 veteran teachers had yet to find positions and that about 500 newly hired teachers were also awaiting assignments.

Mr. Klein said unassigned teachers would be used as substitutes. “We will assign them to permanent substitute basis,” he said. “That may have some cost implications, but it’s costlier, I believe, to force individuals on a school.”

The number of teaching vacancies fluctuates, but has ranged from about 400 to 800 recently, ahead of the opening of school on Tuesday, said Elizabeth Arons, the system’s chief executive for human resources. Last year, the system carried 200 to 250 teachers without regular assignments on its payroll.

The city and the principals’ union — which represents both principals and assistant principals — are locked in a bitter contract dispute, and Mr. Klein has said that the seniority provisions are a major impediment. The provisions allow veteran assistant principals without assignments to bump junior colleagues who are not permanently appointed, potentially upending efforts by principals to build cohesive teams.

The union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, said management failures by the chancellor’s office, rather than the contract, were the reason the 44 assistant principals did not have jobs.

Last year, the teachers’ union agreed to relinquish similar bumping rights in exchange for a transfer system that allows teachers to apply for openings citywide. Mr. Klein said yesterday that those changes were among the most important of his tenure because principals for the first time “have the authority to hire people who are aligned with their vision, their mission.”

Jill S. Levy, the president of the supervisors’ union, said she was willing to negotiate changes but has accused Mr. Klein of blaming the contract for his own failures. The union said 37 of the 44 vacancies were caused by the administration’s closing or downsizing schools.


The Bus Driver said...

Left you some blog love... check it out.