The story above is pretty funny. A newly minted ATR after winning his 3020a hearing after the principal claimed her house had burned down due to the curse ---and the stories from teachers with lunatic principals keep rolling in.We thought that we had heard it all, but this one's really novel: a fellow lands in the ATR after being accused by his Principal of trying to put a curse on her. This new contributor goes by the name of Burn Down the House. -- burndownthehouse---http://nycatr.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-curse-of-atr.html
[Must read - In the "you get what you pay for" category - how an experienced teacher ATR doing a good job with a difficult class was shunned for a brand new teacher who is having diffuculty: The Invisible ATR]
One major issue in Chicago was the fate of their version of ATRs. Teachers are paid for only a year (or less) when their schools close in Chicago and if they don't get a job they are laid off. The union was demanding teachers get hired from this pool of laid off teachers.
Here in NYC these teachers are paid forever, a significant difference and I would guess a key point in the level of union activism in Chicago vs here. Our ATRs are not treated very well -- a major aim of Bloomberg is to go to the Chicago model but the UFT leadership has seen the handwriting on the wall -- if they allow this to go they would face some serious opposition to their control of the union. So the UFT would also be happy to see the ATR issue go away so they are willing to allow a degrading of the conditions -- rotating to a new school every week, no representation within the union, etc. Those who are not resilient or are ill, may just go away by leaving. With every batch of closing schools the pool will be replenished, an ebb and flow. Eventually the closing schools mania will slow down as schools that replace them fail.
Before the updates from the ATR world from http://nycatr.blogspot.com/
here is a report from the so-called "job fair":
If anyone had a chance to attend the job fair this afternoon, saw it was a joke. I would guess only 5 schools showed up I even saw one pair from a school get up and leave shortly after 4:30 when they saw what a waste of time it was. I thought I would see people I knew and only saw one, not a lot of teachers there, maybe a couple hundred. Most everyone I spoke with were new ATR's and were really in the dark. Told all to check ednotes and become a member of the GEM/ATR group. I ended up talking with and answering questions from a small group of ATR's. As I left, I stopped by the UFT table and spoke with four of our representatives sitting there speaking to no one but themselves. As I drilled them softly about Union politics and issues, I was told not to be sarcastic by one of them as the conversation progressed. I then ended the conversation and told them I was doing more to inform our members then they would just sitting there. Spoke to a disgruntled former AP in the ATR pool outside..------
Another Manhattan HS ATR placed in a school in the same building I am in this month, told me she received an invitation for the Queens, Brooklyn, SI fair last week but not one for today
I also received an email today from HR stating that I am part of an initiative to have field supervisors come and observe in my substitute teaching role.
NYC ATRs send warning to Chicago
Chicago teachers have a new contract that will require the city to "hire back" 50% of any teachers that lose their positions due to school closings; in order to meet the quota, some teachers will be retained as part of a "substitute pool" (see here). In other words, the Windy City will have its very own version of Gotham's Absent Teacher Reserve.
When the GEM/ATR Committee heard about this, they sent some words of warning to their brothers and sisters in Chicago. The GEM/ATR communique is must reading for teachers in both cities.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Chicago Teachers Union,
The GEM/ATR Committee's advice on how to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of hiring pools:
1. We wish to warn you that, if left unchecked, Chicago Public Schools will probably hire new, inexperienced teachers, from organizations such as Teach for America recruits, instead of teachers from your hiring pool. We are saying this based on our experience in New York City. The administration uses budget formulas which powerfully incentivize principals to hire new teachers instead of the excessed teachers from the closed schools. Our administration then presents the fiction that the excessed teachers are undesirable/unemployable, when in actuality the administration just wants to hire new teachers over older teachers, because they cost less to the schools.
2. Again, from our experience, if there is no enforcement provision and there is no transparency on the issue of hires in your city, your BOE, just like ours, will not fully comply with their agreement. To avoid these problems, there should be a joint committee between the union and a board of education that is supposed to evaluate the actual performance of the agreement (which we supposedly have in N.Y.C.), AND that the results be regularly published so that union members can be informed, in order to mobilize union members to hold board of education leaders accountable. In New York, ATRs --excessed teachers, are in the dark as to whether the agreement is being enforced. We have just learned through the media that our ranks stand at a record 1,800 teachers in the excess pool. (Just from casual conversations, many of us learn of positions that were open but were not advertised/posted, even though they are supposed to be advertised.) In other words, if you do not have enforcement provisions and consequences for the BOE, they will not fully follow the agreement.
3. Union leaders should be given timely information as to the performance of the agreement. By timely, we mean specific deadlines upon which specific information is shared (such as the number of excessed teachers, which licenses, number of new hires, the licenses of the excessed teachers, and proof of advertising/posting of every filled position.)
4. If the agreement/contract is not followed by a board of education there should be consequences to the board, such as allowing more input from teachers and parents as to policy decisions. For example teachers picked by the union, or parents picked by PTAs, would be allowed to vote on board of education policy making committees. To unelected boards of education, we would say: "You should have no fear of getting increased democracy in policy decisions, if you just follow through with the agreement."
In solidarity, the GEM/ATR Committee, of excessed NYC teachers.
(For full disclosure, we are unrepresented dues-paying members of the United Federation of Teachers.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Also from the blog: