Monday, May 11, 2009

How Does NY Times Ed Reporter Javier Hernandez Define the Word "Many?"

Today's article, For Many Teachers, a Famously Fertile Market Dries Up Overnight has this statement:

But this year, the department anticipates fewer openings and will not hire externally except in certain high-needs areas like speech therapy and bilingual special education. Instead, principals can fill spots only with internal candidates, including teachers from a reserve pool made up of those whose jobs have been eliminated and many who have earned unsatisfactory ratings.

We responded to Hernandez' last article slandering ATRs. (See Ed Notes Klein Gives Up the ATR Ghost.)

So if we take the number of ATRs to be around 1100 according to recent reports, then almost 900 never received a U-rating. And only 14 received 2 U-ratings. Let's leave it to Eduwonkette, posted at Gotham Schools:

A point of clarification on this point from the New Teacher Project’s report that you cited, i.e. “By September 2007, unselected excessed teachers from 2006 were six times as likely to have received a prior “Unsatisfactory” rating as other New York City teachers.”

If you read the footnotes in their report, 81 percent of teachers in the ATR have never received an Unsatisfactory rating. Only 6 percent of all teachers in the ATR - about 14 teachers - have received an unsatisfactory rating more than once in their careers.

Beyond these facts, I have no idea to what extent this pool represents great or terrible teachers, and the important point to remember is that no one really knows. It’s not reasonable or fair to indict the entire group based on the very misleading “six times” TNTP sound bite. If someone else applied this kind of statistical discrimination to other groups - for example, by establishing the probability of an outcome like incarceration or welfare receipt by gender, class, or race and characterizing the entire group - we would all be up in arms.


Mr. Talk said...

According to my research, many of the Times reporters who write about education are feckless idiots.

NYC Educator said...

The NY Times has consistently had the worst local ed. reporting of all the three major papers. This kind of surprises me, and makes me wonder what other nonsense lurks in their news stories. Of course they sat on a few that may well have resulted in an extra four disastrous years with W. and his buds.

They've had a few great ed. columnists, and I hope they find another one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Jayson Blair. Remember his fraudulent reports in the NY Times.

Anonymous said...

We ATRs are told by the DoE and the UFT to look for jobs. But how can we when the official transfer login site

has the following "need not apply" message?:

“Important Note to All Users – Read Before Attempting to Register or Log In:
This system will not recognize user accounts from the Excess Staff Selection System or user accounts from prior Open Market periods. If this is your first login attempt for this Open Market period, please register as a new user.”
A cookie must indicate that my PC belongs to an ATR, because this subtitle appears early in the webpage:
“Excessed Staff Selection System - Sign In”

Activists and reporters need to know: we cannot apply to schools even if we want to. This flies in the face of official policy saying that ATRs have priority.