So we discovered some fun facts. The meeting was mandatory. Some notices said 10-4. A follow-up said to report at 1pm. Those who reported at 10 were made to sit around until 1pm and then had to line up to be registered one by one. Hundreds of people were there to be interviewed for jobs. We hear that some people weren't notified and if they didn't show look for Tweed to leak some leaky statistics to the NY Post or Wall St. Journal about how people refused to look for jobs.
Even if they are "hired" they are still at-will employees subject the the whims of principals. Their position is so precarious they have to do anything in the hope of staying on. I know one ATR who tells people she will move their cars during her preps and lunchtime just to curry favor.
Angel and I talked to them about forming an ATR committee to put pressure on the UFT to relieve the situation. They seemed receptive to a rally in November to commemorate the one held 2 years ago, the threat of which forced the UFT and Tweed to try to undercut it with a deal - still a lousy one but one that doesn't charge the school for the cost of the ATR - that expires on Dec. 1. Even if they get a job under this deal they can be released at the end of the school year if they didn't wash the floors with a toothbrush to the principal's satisfaction.
The funniest response came from an ATR who refused to take out newsletter, proclaiming he was in Unity Caucus. "They screwed you too," we shouted. But I guess those free trips to Seattle were worth it.
Actually, the funniest response came from the UFT's Ann Rosen who has to schlep over from UFT headquarters for the event. Usually we are on friendly terms but when Angel and I joked that this is all her fault she got a bit testy telling us how she worked her ass off for these people. I pointed out she was making a pretty nice salary for working her ass off and the alternative was going back to teaching. Here is what she makes for working her ass off:
Here are some comments from yesterday's blog post
Mid Day Snack: The Great ATR Musical Chair Swap Game
Once again the blame is placed upon the teachers who due to no fault of their own are left dangling in the wind. The contract is clear, excessed staff shall be placed into vacancies within license with district. The UFT should be filing an immediate cease and desist Article 78 on behalf of the atr's. Let the Dept and Klein explain this to voters and parents as class size rise throughout the city.AfterBurn
I am not a math person, but this just doesn't add up. The DOE cuts budgets, teachers get excessed, but the DOE is still paying for them, but won't put them in schools, class sizes rise, the DOE saves no money anyway... ???? Why not just place the ATRs in schools (especially given testgate, schools could use an extra teacher for intervention, given that generally schools lost at least one position -depending on individual principal decisons- due to cuts). The placed ATRs would not come out of school-based budgets. The ATRs would be 'working', and kids would benefit. If the ATR is a "bad teacher" they are subject to the same rating system as everyone else and can be given a U and go through due process. The DOE could always offter an 'opt out' to principals who do not want to deal w/ 'hiring' someone not of their choosing. Done and Done. Instead the DOE is using this issue to paint teachers as sucking the life out of taxpayers and doing harm or at least neglegence to children. UFT: Do your job and tell the proper narrative to the citizens of our city. Push for ATRs to be placed in their licensed positions in a school. With the extreme rise in class sizes across the city, the budget cuts, and testgate... there is more than enough political capital to spend on this issue, if you (the uft) really wanted to solve it in a way that benefits children and teachers.
I still have to post the election results- Fenty/Rhee lost, Perkins won BIG. But I have to go see Leonie debate a Tweed lug and naybe get to tape it.
In the meantime if you don't read Reality Based Educator you are missing some of the best political commentary from a teacher perspective (yes, RBE teaches in NYC).
Who Funds Ex-Educators 4 Excellence?