Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teaching Fellow RTRs Rally at Tweed

Despite a driving drizzle a hardy band of NYC first year Teaching Fellows who have not yet been appointed and are threatened with being fired, losing their provisional teaching certification and being tossed from the Masters degree grad program, attempted to meet with DOE officials at Tweed yesterday afternoon. Marjorie Stamberg from the Ad Hoc ATR committee and Michael Fiorillo from ICE were there to show support. No one from UFT officialdom showed, But they only show if there might be press around. The RTRs do not seem to expect much help from the UFT in defending their jobs.

Kelly Vaughan from Gotham Schools was there to report. (Photo by Kelly)
According to DOE spokeswoman Ann Forte, 115 new Teaching Fellows are still without jobs, down from 139 in mid-October. Teachers tonight told me they are working as substitutes and assistants while they seek permanent positions
Read Kelly's full report here. I'm borrowing Kelly's excellent photo as I only had a video camera. I will put the interviews up if they came out ok.

Robert from ICE posted this on ICE mail:
Although the numbers were modest, the RTR rally today in the rain at Tweed was spirited. We had signs supporting the RTRs and ATRs. Several RTRs were there, including concerned relatives of the one of the RTRs. Members of the Ad Hoc Committee to support the ATRs were also there, as well as members of other groups. Passersby were engaged, and several stopped to talk and get more information. Dan, the coordinator of the RTR group, dressed in the prison suit of a condemned man, gave a speech on the steps movingly pleading the case for a reprieve of the RTRs. Then the entire body ascended the steps of Tweed in an effort to go inside and talk someone in Chancellor Klein's office. Although Tweed is a public building, it is managed by a city agency and Tweed is a tenant of this entity, and security personnel of the management barred the way. A DOE representative was fetched, however, and took material to bring to the Chancellor's office. A reporter for the Gotham Schools blog took interviews.

We must keep up the pressure on the DOE not to fire the RTRs and work to ensure a maximum turnout for the ATR rally on the behalf of the ATRs on November 24.


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