Educators Linger in the Misunderstood ‘Teacher Reserve,’ a Byproduct of School Reforms
This past summer, most city teachers were prepping new lessons, revising curriculum and readying for the start of the new school year. However, many teachers on the city’s Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) were polishing their CVs. This included Aixa Rodriguez, an ESL teacher who has been with the DOE since 2005.
She was previously a teacher at the Foreign Language Academy of Global Studies (FLAGS), which closed at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Like many teachers after a closure, Rodriguez was placed in the ATR, a pool of DOE educators who lack permanent placements in city schools but remain full-time DOE employees. Rodriguez said many teachers in the pool have a similar story to hers, finding themselves relegated to the list in the aftermath of school’s closure or a program cut.
James Eterno agreed, saying principals often will not even consider ATR educators with years (or decades) of experience because of the higher salaries.