Educators 4 Excellence-New York, an advocacy group of more than 8,000 teachers... Leslie Brody, WSJWTF-- E4E is a group that has practically zero representation in NYC schools despite massive amounts of funding and full-time organizers, yet is given credence in this article. I bet MORE, a true grassroots group, has more visibility. 'Nuff said about the impartiality of the WSJ piece on ATRs, which also quotes astroturf groups like Students First (Jenny Sedlis, Eva's former pit bull?)
Now here is an important point:
The ATR issue is non-negotiable in terms of a time limit. Case closed. We already won this with the awful 2005 arbitration panel. This has been settled and the ed deformers keep bringing it up as a way to do an end run around tenure. Most ATRs get hired provisionally because principals don't want to keep people who become senior in their school after their one provisional year. Lots of excessed people. Most are hired provisionally from year to year. Some are placed permanently (usually less senior) while some have rotated for three years and been ATRs for longer..... Chapter Leader at a closing schoolYes boys and girls. We have a contract that keeps ATRs in perpetuity. We gave up valuable real estate in 2005. As my pal says, "Case closed." Yet as he says, the ed deformers, having gotten their pound of flesh a decade ago, want even more. There is more on this point and the info will probably appear on the blogs soon.
I know ATRs are unhappy and want some resolution. Do does the DOE. So does the UFT.
There are solutions but not one that includes a time limit being pushed by the ed deformers is acceptable and the UFT has not varied from that position. I know I was one of the people thinking they would sell out, I am moving to James Eterno's position that they will not sell out on time limits, no matter how much pressure put on. (A lesson for the UFT was Chicago, where ATR time limits were major organizing tools for CORE -- MORE in NYC would be in a similar position -- but I am not rooting for time limits to help as an organizing tool.)
When the WSJ's Leslie Brody contacted me about getting the word out to ATRs that she was doing an article on them I wrote her that I was always suspicious of the press, but especially of a Rupert Murdoch-owned publication. Though they always claim there is a firewall between editorial and reporting, I don't believe that.
They start off with a bias and what they want is some quotes from ATRs to try to show impartiality.
While warning them about this, I did notify my listserves. ATR Dave Levin did talk to her and is quoted, though he told me the more pertinent things he said were not included... "of course she didn't use the good stuff and I'm not surprised she picked out the juicy quote but it's OK. I explained to her that the groups like student first were not student first."
In my correspondence with Leslie, when I brought up that salary was an issue, Leslie was misinformed in claiming the DOE picked up the salary. I sent her response to Chaz for clarification. Chaz refused to talk to her but wrote a piece on ATRs and sent it to her (The Reason Why ATRs Should Be Put Back Into The Classroom. It Helps Student Academic Achievement). Chaz pointed to the Fair Student Funding formula as a major culprit and he clarified the point on picking up the salary.
There is a deliberate misconception that the DOE picks up part of the ATR salary if a school selects an ATR to fill a leave replacement or vacancy. The DOE only picks up the difference in salary between the ATR and the salary of the teacher the ATR is replacing for the first year only! If the school decides to pick up the ATR for the second year the ATR's salary must be included in the average teacher salary of the school and comes out of the school's budget. Therefore, very few, if any, ATRs are picked up the second year since it will cost the school money.Note not one word on this important issue in the article. But plenty of quotes from the ed deform astro-turfers.
And there is the most egregious partisan issue -- the refusal to fully identify who these groups represent - including the owner of the WSJ. They are all funded by the same sources and have echoed every single partisan note of the ed deform platform. TNTP which also makes money from pushing new teachers has a dog in the race -- get rid of ATRs and they get a lot of business.
Note that Leslie did not ask for a quote from ICE or MORE, grassroots groups independent from the UFT line.
Here is the article below the jump - or click here.