Monday, August 6, 2007
How "Open" is the Open-Market?
... the title of a post by blogger Syntactic Gymnastics, indicates that even newer teachers are having trouble with the much bragged about (by the UFT) Open Market System. Check the "Do You Hear Snoring" guest post on this blog and note the defensive "myth- fact" post by an obvious UFT official.
They trash a system that they set up and maintained for 40 years before BloomKlein and brag about the system they replaced it with. They supported the BloomKlein myth that the problems with the school system were due to the right of teachers to take seniority transfers, which everyone knew were often manipulated by principals. Like people with long commutes waited forever to get jobs in Staten Island while all these young teachers who were politically connected on the Island were filling up schools. Naturally, the weaknesses of this system were exacerbated by the looseness of the language of the contract and the lack of UFT enforcement of the existing contract at the time.
I worked in a school for 27 years and never saw one case of someone taking a UFT transfer into my school. And our colleagues who took transfer to "better' schools because they grew wary of teaching the most difficult children, found it so much easier to teach when they made the move to middle class schools and often overcame initial principal resistance when they proved to be among the best teachers in the school. Discipline certainly was not a problem for them.
But this became the big BloomKlein argument - that the UFT contact forced principals to take people they didn't want. (I wonder of they give police precinct or fire house captains or any city agency head total leeway in who ends up working or them? There is such a thing as civil service rules for a reason -- to prevent the very corruption we are seeing.) Klein claimed he wanted the right to transfer senior teachers into poor performing schools and then with UFT assistance set up a system where these schools would be penalized by hiring these more expensive teachers.
I know a licensed high school math teacher in his 60's (only teaching a few years, stil with a fairly low salary, an indication more of age discrimination) who has not been able to get a job for the past year when he was an ATR. The UFT will say, "Hey you're getting paid." He said he physically just cannot do another full year as an ATR and will probably quit.
Aren't we being told all the time that there is a drastic shortage of licensed math teachers?
But this is just another case of spinning reality by the UFT (and BloomKlein too). It's an old theme we studied in college in a course on Shakespeare - appearance and reality. UFT officialdom is all about appearance and spins reality to shape it to put themselves in the best light. And of course, we see the same from BloomKlein. Both the UFT and the DOE have massive PR departments.
Here is a reality check:
What is Randi Weingarten most preoccupied with? (choose one)
a. Protecting the rights of teachers in the schools who are under attack, dealing with the problems of ATR's, senior and excessed teachers?
b. Assuring that Hillary Clinton gets elected by planning on taking over as AFT President and using the national platform to assist Clinton?