Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get Out the Barf Bag

The latest post in the community section of Gotham Schools is so alarmingly inaccurate and deceitful that it deserves special mention here. One Ms. Sacks writes about the ATRs in her school and proceeds not only to smear them, but virtually all veteran teachers in the process. She obviously has her head up her principal's ass, as she condones his attempts to thwart the hiring freeze and subvert the contract. Read the piece, and please comment. Let Ms. Sacks know what you think.

Here's my comment:

This article is a disgrace. We have here a teacher who obviously resents other teachers who make more than she does (one assumes she thinks she is worth more). She accepts the principal’s assertion that not ONE ATR was qualified to teach at her school as the gospel truth. She implies that she thinks these teachers are the “dregs” of the profession based upon…what? Hearsay? Obviously the author is in league with the principal–”WE’ tried to subvert the hiring freeze…”WE” found a way around it. As a teacher and a union member, do you really feel that you should be on your principal’s side as he violates the spirit and letter of the contract?

There is no such thing as a teacher who is licensed to teach all subjects in a middle school. Did anyone fact check this piece? In truth, that special ed teacher is teaching OUT OF LICENSE in violation of the teacher’s contract and Klein’s hiring freeze.

There is an assertion here that TFAs are “more committed and faster learners” than ATRs. That is nothing but a bald faced slur on a group of teachers who have put in more years than the author and all the TFAs in her school combined.

Finally, I don’t think it’s the twilight zone you’re in, although I have no doubt, Ms. Sacks, that your head has wandered to some nether region and has somehow made it up a passageway vertically.

Gotham Schools–you should be ashamed to print such nonsense. Ms. Sacks, I sure hope your principal promised you some plum job for writing it.


Chaz said...

Mr. Talk:

In the middle school there is a multi-subject license (5-8) and yes, they can teach everything. However, the rest of your article is right on. How disgusting that a newbie teacher thinks she is an wxpert on ATRs when she is ignorant of why we have ATRs.

Miss Eyre said...

FWIW, although the K-12 special ed license does not exist anymore, some teachers still hold it and teacher under it. We have a self-contained multi-subject special ed class at my middle school school that gen ed teachers push into and some kids go for inclusion out of it. So that's a possibility too.

But, Mr. Talk, I did leave my own scathing comments about the rest of the content in the piece.

Anonymous said...

I started teaching in 1989. I was a middle(grades 5-8) school math teacher for 7 years and my license from the state is grades 7-12 math and my city license was Jr. High School Math grades 7-9. When I was in middle school, I was not allowed to teach everything except math. It was license specific.

But I am disgusted with Ariel Sacks comments about the ATRs. She's a back-stabbing, anti-teacher, selfish, arrogant, pro-Michele Rhee NUT!

Mr. Talk said...

Do a google search on her, and not only will you find that she is angling for a future admin job, but the sheer number of hits suggests that she is a shameless self-promoter who has spoken to whoever is willing to listen.

She's the Balloon Boy of teachers, pulling off an ugly stunt while claiming to be unaware of the damage she is causing.

Pete Zucker said...

I am kind of curious why Ariel Sacks Tweets during school hours. March 10, March 27.

Anonymous said...

If she Tweeted during school hours, it's fine except when she's teaching a class. So, someone should report her to the principal if she did that during instruction time - that's a violation. Hey, maybe she was Tweeting the twerp Klein!

I've noticed that a large percentage of the TFA teachers are becoming administrators after 3 - 5 years in the classroom.

Ariel Sacks said...

wow, guys, please check out my responses back at Gotham schools. FYI I'm not a Rhee supporter at all. You're "scathing," or perhaps just rude, remarks make this into a personal not professional debate, which weaken your arguments. I guess here is your safe space where you have a group that is on the same page about enough things that you don't have to explain yourselves to each other. That's cool, but if we want to actually change the teaching profession, we need to communicate across the lines that currently divide teachers from one another and marginalize us from other types who have a stake in education and could be allies. Many of you have critized me for being divisive, but I find your tone and remarks to be far more divisive than mine.

Anonymous said...

There is always a risk when you open the lines of communication. At times, open-public comments will open up Pandora's Box. I can only imagine how violated the ATRs must feel when they read your blog on GS. I feel that writing about the ATR situation in a objective manner would have open the venue for open communication on how to deal with this situation. Unfortunately, you have started a fire storm of the ATR controversies and this is a very touchy situation. There are people who felt that this is an attack on their character.

There have been political candidates that have lost the election based on their opinion/comment. Opinions can stir up the conscience of the thinkers but it can also stir up the emotions of the rousers. This is a learning experience to be careful of what is said in print!

Real English Teacher said...

It's interesting that Ms. Sacks, an English teacher wholly at ease vilifying her ATR colleagues in a public forum, doesn't seem able to differentiate "you're" from "your."

Even more interesting is that she finds it offensive when such criticism is directed at her. I can only imagine how the ATR teachers felt the day after hearing about her hearsay-based attacks.

Ms. Sacks merits everything written on this blog and more. She clearly accepts everything her principal, the one who blatantly violates special ed. laws by leaving her without a cooperating teacher, as gospel. Her unquestioning blind loyalty is hardly helpful to her special needs students, let alone progressive, or a role model of any sort for kids I'd want to inspire independent thought in.

And on the topic of kids, I'm very glad she doesn't teach any kid of mine.

King of the Sea said...


In a democratic society. be prepared to have your opinions refuted. This is the power of debate! In addition, you may want to check out your fins before you swim with the sharks!