Thursday, August 12, 2010

The End is Near...

...for ATRs. I sure hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.

A recent announcement from the DOE Office of Teacher Recruitment informed principals in the Bronx that they are no longer subject to the hiring freeze. As most of you no doubt recall, the freeze was put into place as a way to help drain the ATR pool by forcing principals to hire ATRs rather than the newbies they'd prefer to hire.

A report on Gotham Schools outlines one principal who obviously skirted the rules in order to avoid hiring ATRs. Ramon Gonzalez of MS 223 interviewed 40 ATRs, he claims, and found not one of them suitable to his "exacting standards". So the minute Klein unleashed him, he hired four newbies, two of whom had already worked at the schools--one as a sub and one as an intern.

If you think this is an isolated incident, think again. Principals all over the city are squirreling away candidates they want and putting subs in vacancies while hoping for an end to the hiring freeze. Special ed teachers, who are not subject to the freeze, have been hired and put in regular ed positions as "place holders" for when the freeze is lifted.

Now that the Bronx is no longer subject to the freeze, watch for other boroughs to follow. They will also claim that they have been unable to find candidates to meet their exacting standards and ask that the freeze be lifted. And Klein will oblige.

At that point, Klein can claim that the remaining ATRs have had a year and a half to find positions during the freeze but failed to do so. He will, of course, neglect to mention how many principals hid positions in order to avoid hiring ATRs. Klein will then demand that ATRs be fired, and he'll use the local papers to pressure the union into agreeing to jettison ATRs in return for a 2% pittance in the next contract (assuming that Mulgrew can even get that much in exchange for screwing his members).

That's the difference between our past and current union leaders. Randi was more like a prostitute while Mulgrew is more like a slut. Randi wouldn't give our rights away unless she got money, while Mulgrew is putting out all over for free.

11 comments:

Pogue said...

The UFT better fight the DOE on the ATR's. It is age discrimination in its simplest form. Even if ATR's are to be judged by test scores of the future, they HAVE to be offered a position, then judged on their skills. Klein and Bloomberg have to be battled and stalled and confronted at every nefarious turn until they're outta' here. 2% is nothing. The UFT better get a back bone and soon.

Pissed Off said...

I pray you are wrong but this is exactly what I have been saying to my ATR friends for a while. I really worry about them and all the ATRs who are in that position through no fault of their own.

ASTRAKA said...

Pogue,
the UFT has no back bone, as you already know. The ATRs better prepare themselves and start thinking about a class action lawsuit without the union's blessing. The UFT does not care about them unfortunately.

BronxEnglish said...

Not only is the post on the money, but the comments as well. I was an ATR last summer after my school was closed, and it was not fun. Dozens and dozens of letters
I sent out. Applied for more positions online. Not a single response. Not a one. No request for interview. No request for a demo. Nothing. This is after a dozen years as a teacher, earning several "exemplaries."
A fellow teacher interviewed me at a job fair and recommended me for a position. I got it. I am lucky beyond lucky. So what about the other ATRs who don't get to be in my position? Who in God's name, by the way, decided that ATRs are undesirable? It's a disgrace. I don't think it's about experience. I really, really think it comes down to economics. The rich are not satisfied with the vast majority of wealth they have acquired in this country. They want more. They want everyone to be downtrodden with their heads bent level to the horizon, so as not to see them reveling in their cash and yachts and twelve-star vacations.
The union is beyond a disgrace. We ALL should start a class-action suit against our own union. In fact, to call it a union is a misnomer. It's actually an arm of the Obama administration, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Well, if this post is right, we're all in trouble. If the ATRs are fired, or laid off, then there are no more tenure protections. A principal just has to dump you in the ATR pool and then you will eventually be fired. So even if you have a job, let's say an English job with seniority, the principal can find a way to dump you in the ATR pool, or your school can be closed and your job is gone. I don't think even Michael Mulgrew is stupid enough to agree to set up a situation like this. Furthermore, the Senate just passed a jobs bill. The unemployment rate is sky high: not even in New York City is it going to be popular to fire thousands of teachers. I usually agree with AT, but I have to say this post seems way off to me and also detrimental to our colleagues who are ATRs.

ed notes online said...

Watch what has been happening in Chicago where they are just ignoring tenure rules to find excuses to fire teachers. NYC is the lone place where ATRs cannot just be let go. The back door deal is that Mulgrew is getting something for selling out - jobs for Unity patronage machine - things like Klein agreeing to protect teacher centers a major source of Unity patronage.

Anonymous said...

BronxEnglish teacher you are so right. I was an ATR 2 years ago b/c my school closed: I sent out many resumes, attended job fairs etc. No one would hire me b/c I had 22 years in the system. I only got lucky when a colleague reccomended me to a veteran principal friend and I am still there with 1 year till retirement. Anon: Mulgrew isn't stupid; he's deliberately selling us out. Mr. AT has it right.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:28 I agree with you; by giving in on the ATR situation, the Union weakens itself. Look at Chicago. I'm not saying the Union will defend the ATRs because it cares about teachers; it will defend the ATRs because it cares about its own survival. Right now, the NY UFT is still a strong Union with some bargaining power. Letting the ATRs go means giving up a huge bargaining chip and weakening itself. Our Union is much too self-serving for that.

Pogue said...

If you really want to see the dangers of a bad contract go to The Washington Teacher blog. In reading the comments section of its most recent post it seems like a lot of teachers took the bait on higher salary, but gave up seniority protections. Teachers are excessed, but only the younger ones are being hired back.

The union cannot appease Klein at the expense of ATR's and teachers better not vote for 2% to give them up.

ASTRAKA said...

Sooner or later every young teacher will become an ATR. It may take them 5 or 6 years but if they are perceived as trouble makers by an administrator, they will loose their seniority. No teacher in his right mind should sacrifice the ATRs for any raise. They must be offered jobs period.

Anonymous said...

BronxEnglish, I had the same experience and ended up as fortunate as you. ASTRAKA I agree with you. Even though I got lucky and have only 2 years to retirement, I will NEVER sell out the ATRs for 2% or any %.