Sunday, August 23, 2009

Creating ATRs a Key Part of Privatization Plan

What follows is similar to the same plan being put into place in urban areas nation wide, and indeed, around the world as part of the neo-liberal agenda.

The corporate forces looking to control public education have an executable plan only of the union cooperated. And the UFT sure did. And does.

We need to connect all the dots in the DOE ATR plan as it ties into the ultimate goal of privatizing the public school system and removing unionized teachers as a force. (Note that other than the US, teachers often are leading national struggles in many countries - see Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico.)

Remember the goal: to have a school system with as few union teachers as possible. Thus, closing numbers of schools, especially the large high schools, which have seen an influx of charter schools full of non unionized teachers (anyone have a big rat to put in front of them?) Or the UFT for being part of the process?

The other part of the equation is to have a massive influx of new, low salaried teachers and push out the high salaried ones.

How does the ATR situation tie in? They needed to kill the seniority system as a first step in their plan. Imagine if they closed all these schools under the old system? All the teachers would start bumping people all over the place, just as we all went through in our careers.

So, they took a temporary hit in the 2005 contract in the sense of agreeing to keep paying all these people as a temporary stage. Call it an investment in the long term goal of a non-unionized, privatized system.

Now we are going to phase 2, which we call the buy-out phase, where they will pay up front to get people to leave or pull a Michelle Rhee and offer big bumps in salary to teachers who agree to give up their tenure.

For those who don't jump, there are the public attacks on the ATRs by the New Teacher Project's Tim Daley, Klein and the press who will demand a Chicago system where ATRs get to sub for one year and if they have no job they are released.

But since there will be a continuous stream of ATRs as they close more schools, they need to modify the contract. They will do that in the usual way – bribe the UFT with salary, another short term investment since they know they will reduce the ranks of the union by huge chunks in the long run. Then we will see massive school closings for all kinds of reasons, like 12 kids sneezed. (All they have to do is make the tests harder for a year or two and fail more schools.)

Look for some little nudge in this direction in the new contract. It will be subtle to get people to vote for it but it will give BloomKlein a wedge to move their plans forward.


Anonymous said...

The ATRs and the Rubber Room inmates have been targeted for dismissal. Klein undoubtedly assumed that the Rubber Room inmates would, one-by-one, accept settlements and return briefly as ATRs and then leave. In effect, this dual effort was a singular anti-ATR effort.
The only glitch for Klein has been that the Rubber Room 3020a action is; actually, painfully slow and he has been unable to speed up the ATR-ization of the inmates. And, some of the innocent inmates have refused to participate in the bizaare pay-to-play scheme that defines the heretofore mentioned settlements.
Even the supreme educrat has an occasional comeuppance.
Look for a redoubling of efforts on the anti-ATR front and a racheting down of rubberization in the months to come.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree of what was posted. The rubber room is just the other side of the same coin. King Mike and Klein have planned, and created the ATR and the rubber room issues to keep about 3000 teachers out of the classrooms and to apply pressure on UFT. King Mike, someone who is able to change term limits at will, is fully capable of sending all 3000 teachers back into the classrooms this Sept 8th, or whenver he wants to.
Teachers are used as pawns for a hidden agenda.

Anonymous said...

Those 3000 teachers (ATR/Rubber Room(RR)) can either make or break the upcoming contract negotiation. We already know that there are plenty of veteran teachers, not ATRs or in the RR, who, I feel, will make sure that this contract will no longer be in favor of a contract without having good, solid, and equitable work rules. The language of the contract must change NOW! My greatest concern are the recent tenured teachers or the untenured who still too new in the system and still don't have a strong footing in union activism. Their fear of union action only brings inaction. We need to strengthen them so that they do not get easily taken in by these very subtle, yet impact-laden contractual deals that will destroy public education. It is imperative that those 3000 teachers use their powerful voice and decisions to set the tone and rules for our next contract. This is the year to bring down the BloomKlein regime! Teachers will have the opportunity to change the tides of public education and bring forth a victory in this battle. If we do not stay firm and steadfast, then sit back and watch the implosion of public education and unionism.

ed notes online said...

You're missing the point here if you focus on Bloomberg and Klein. ATRs and rubber rooms are part of a nationwide plan. I focus so much on the complicity of the AFT/UFT because the union was the only organized force that could have put up a national resistance policy but has chosen instead to become part of the deform effort with the claim that a seat at the table could modify some of the worst effects. That policy has been a total failure.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why UFT leadership has adopted the current policies in giving up any meaningful fight against ATR/rubber room abuses. I thought it was in UFT's long term interest to do so. They might be just another group of shortsighted people who only care about their own short-term interests.

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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.