Thursday, May 7, 2009

Everyone Outta the Pool!

It seems that the DOE will soon be emptying the pool--the ATR pool, that is. A hiring freeze has been imposed, and principals have been instructed to fill vacancies through the ATR pool. Why the turn around? Very simple. Money.

We are now in a fiscal crisis, so Bloomberg has had an epiphany: it is NOT good policy to pay 1,100 veteran, experienced teachers to be subs. Why Bloomie, the self-proclaimed financial whiz, couldn't figure that out before will remain a mystery forever.

Naturally, Randi stepped in to claim victory: United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten took credit for "calling for these measures since last October....We are gratified that the Department of Education is... taking steps to fill school vacancies with veteran educators who lost their jobs through no fault of their own," she said in a statement.

Just as predictably, Randi neglected to mention that she created this situation by trading away our seniority rights for a pittance in the 2005 contract.

In a display of shoddy reporting worthy of the Post, the New York Times claimed that the majority of ATRs are "subpar" teachers according to an "independent report". This report is by Tim Daly of the New Teacher Project. One of the projects they work on is New York Teaching Fellows--the very group who won't be hired to make room for those "subpar" teachers. How independent of them. In the very same article, the Times tells us that in 2008, about 2,000 were hired from TFA and Teaching Fellows. In September 2009, that number may drop as low as zero. So, we can see that the New Teacher Project may have a tiny stake in this after all.

So, despite the usual crappy education reporting we've come to expect in NY, at least two good things come out of this:

ATRs will finally find positions, and Joel Klein will have to choke on it as another plank of his festering "Children First" initiative rots away under his feet.


Anonymous said...

There is room for concern that certain positions will simply not be filled until the hiring freeze begins to allow for exceptions. I know of many principals who fully intens to consider ATRs, but similarly recognize that the freeze will gradually be loosened as subject areas, grades, and boroughs are provided exemptions to hire non-ATRs.

The ATR situation is real concern. Even with the incentives given to principals to hire ATRS (money and a nice long term savings to their schools' budgets), that strategy failed miserably.

It will be interesting to watch how principals approach this. How many will simply wait out the hiring freeze to hire their desired candidates? My hunch? A significant amount of the 1,600 principals will.

Ms. Tsouris said...

On the other hand, perhaps some principals will have to hire ATR's since they have no idea how long the hiring freeze could go on. I also noticed the loaded language in the Times article. How about a "subpar" reporter such as Javier C. Hernandez, the author of that propaganda piece? I see and hear about many more "subpar" administrators than teachers lately. Where are the Times articles on them?