Hello, ATRs are suing

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Teachers appeal to the union, in defense of an ATR

EdNotes reported that teachers at a MORE caucus leaning school were upset with how an ATR was being treated by the field supervisor who was visiting the ATR at the school.The teachers gave the ATR teacher their backs by signing letters of support for the excessed teacher! The union needs to wake up and show the same level of commitment that Mike, EdNotes and the teachers at this school did for this ATR.

ATRs experiencing the DOE railroading and inadequate UFT defense need to get involved in the class action lawsuit.

Teachersat Elementary School Support ATR With Letters of Support


There's an ATR in my school that is going through hell 
with his field supervisor.  My CL had the UFT Dist Rep come to our school to meet with the ATR when his field supv scheduled a meeting with the ATR and was planing to bring another field supv with her.  I suspect she was bringing back up bc the last time she was at our school the ATR asked me to be present (CL was unavailable at the time).  She refused to have a discussion with him in my presence (as his union representation). My heart goes out to this guy bc it seems clear to me he is being set up for a U rating.  He comes to our school and is given whatever coverage is available and he truly does his best to assist our kids as best he can under these circumstances.  We can look out for him as long as he is at PS -- but we can't do anything about his field supv ratings and once he's gone I'm assuming he won't find the same support elsewhere.  Is there anyone he can contact to help him navigate the bullshit?... This is the first ATR we've had that has told me their story.  I'm always welcoming to them and let them know we have an honest CL they can reach out to but since they don't know me they rarely open up like this guy did.  He overheard a conversation I was having about the state of our union and gambled I could be trusted.  This guy said PS --- is the first school he's been in where he feels some union strength-.... Thanks for everything you guys do----teachers would have no avenues to follow if it weren't for people like you. .... email to MORE activists from former chapter leader
This was sent to Mike Schirtzer and myself from a trusted supporter and source. (I'm not using her name or school to protect the ATR who could be traced - she would be fine with using her name.)


She noticed a very competent ATR being harassed in her school and jumped in to support him along with her colleagues. That school has 40 people signed up to be MORE members. (They could have even run their own slate in the UFT elections out of their school alone.)


Having his story reinforced by a trusted teacher and former chapter leader is immense. Our advice to her was to gather support within the school for the ATR by writing letters about his work in the school for him to use in a defense and she did exactly that.



She put me in touch with the ATR and we spoke for hours and I got the full story of the actions of his field supervisor and her cohorts. His story is very credible. And there might even be religious persecution issues on the table.



During our conversation he mentioned others in some schools, including principals, who praised his efforts. I suggested he start gathering names and numbers and possible statements. If they bring him upon 3020a charges, there will be a list of witnesses for him.



We hear so many complaints from ATRs about the treatment they get from colleagues in schools they are sent to. One ATR I spoke too calls the field supervisors "failed supervisors." The apparently awful James Quail, a former principal and district superintendent from my district whom I've known since 1970, is the grim reaper of field supervisors, pops up in the picture. 



We hear a lot about the gotcha mentality of ATR field supervisors - the DOE wasteful jobs program for retired principals.
See- 
We also hear lies and slanders from people with their own political agenda that MORE is not supportive of ATRs when in fact the members of MORE who have influence in their schools bend over backwards to be supportive, as this story confirms.



The ATR told me that this school had the most serious sense of union of any school he has been in since he became an ATR. And there is no little irony that the school leans toward MORE instead of Unity for support.



The MORE contact, upon seeing an ATR who had impressed people in the school come under attack by a new field supervisor (the old one found no fault), took action by writing letters of support for the ATR and sending them out to come point people at the union and possibly the DOE with more people to come if the harassment continues. They also gave the ATR copies. And she went in when he met with the Field Supervisor at one point and at another with a district rep. 



When will the UFT say something about the enormous waste in paying field supervisors to observe people functioning as substitute teachers? Do they observe regular subs? Did anyone in the history of this school system spend time and money to observe subs?



This is the letter that has been sent to Amy Arundell at the UFT who has contacted me -- and repeatedly - that she will get involved. I give Amy the benefit of the doubt and will track the outcome.
Dear Amy Arundell,
Mr. X is an ATR who was sent to our school for one of his temporary assignments. He arrived at school each morning and performed his duties as a substitute teacher in various classes depending upon which of our teachers was absent that day. He made the best of a very difficult situation. Although he did not know our students and did not know what grade or type of class (self-contained, ICT, bilingual, general ed) he would be assigned to cover, he engaged the students and we were happy to have him as part of our school community. He was punctual, respectful and eager to assist our school community on each day he arrived in our school.

As you are aware, ATRs are given sub assignments no different from day-to-day subs, yet they are observed and are expected to teach as if they have the same familiarity with the class as a permanent staff member would be expected to have. This unfair process allows for abuse on the part of field supervisors who too often act as if they are observing a teacher who has spent months with the children they are teaching rather than someone who has met a class for the first time and may have zero experience with that particular grade or may be teaching a class out of their license area.

We are writing to you, the UFT rep who is assigned to assist ATRs, to express our concern that Mr. X is being set up for failure by his field supervisor who, in our opinion, has been less than professional and fair with him. This concern was brought to the attention of UFT District --- Rep,  who promptly came to our school and met with Mr. X and his field supervisor Ms. Y as well as an additional field supervisor, who was invited by Ms. Y. The fact that Ms. Y felt it necessary to invite a co-worker to attend reeks of intimidation. It is the reason we asked [the dist rep] to come to the school when this meeting was scheduled. It was clear to us that Mr. X was about to be unfairly tag-teamed by two field supervisors as an act of intimidation. There is no other reason for two field supervisors, paid by the tax payers, to do the job of one field supervisor.
Mr. X has finished his rotation at PS X. But we have told him to think of PS X as his home school and to keep in touch with us regarding his treatment elsewhere. We are asking that you initiate and maintain contact with Mr. X and ensure that he is not scapegoated out of a job in order for a field supervisor to make her bones with the DOE. Based on how Mr. X conducted himself at PS X, it is clear to us that the man deserves to keep his paycheck and benefits. We believe in having a strong union that looks out for our most vulnerable members and it is our hope that you will demonstrate that such strength still exists. We thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely, 
CL, PS X Chapter Leader
------, Former PS ----- Chapter Leader
---------------------------
Dear -------

We the undersigned support our union brothers and sisters who are ATRs. Our current and former chapter leader keep us informed on union matters and we realize that ATRs have lost their permanent positions through no fault of their own We realize that our school could be phased out in the near future and we too could find ourselves in an ATR pool where we will be vulnerable to lose our jobs, pensions and health benefits. We feel strongly that ATRs be protected and we ask that Mr. ....... be treated in a manner we would expect to be treated under such circumstances. It is our hope that Mr. ........ is not left hanging out on a limb without support now that he has left our school. We hope that our union stands by him and protects him from any injustices that he may face in his future as he travels from school to school as an ATR. It is what we would want our union to do for us if we had to walk in his shoes. 
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
PS ..... Staff Members (signed below)


A reminder: ATRs that are seeing themselves heading in the direction of a U rating for the year are urged to contact DOEatreducators@gmail.com, about joining a class action suit.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Big story about a consulting firm for flyby ATR observations

There's a log of important ATR stories in Ed Notes: there's a report of a consulting firm for the observations that appears to show a conflict of interest.

ATRS Targeted by Brienza Consultant Firm Formerly Run by Mulgrew's Sister


An ATR told me an interesting story. In addition to a field


supervisor, he was also visited by some guy from a company called Brienza Academic Advantage who told him they were hired by the DOE to "assist" ATRs - read that as - "assist the DOE in getting rid of" ATRs who have been targeted.

Michael Mulgrew's sister, Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany, was the COO of Brienza, as reported by Sue Edelman in an April 28, 2013 article:

During her leave, Mulgrew-Daretany worked as chief operating officer for Brienza’s Academic Advantage, a Brooklyn-based company that sells teacher-training seminars and student tutoring. She is listed as COO in a Brienza’s organizational chart filed with the DOE. She left “last year,” a company official said.

DOE payments to Brienza’s rose from $5,109 in 2002 to $10.9 million in 2012, when the city received No Child Left Behind funds for after-school tutoring, officials said.
What happened when this Brienza guy observed the ATR? Well, the ATR was not actually teaching a class but in there to assist another teacher and during the lesson played no role at all.

So how astounded was he when this Brienza guy tells him he wants to meet on the ATRs prep to discuss his "lesson" and see where it could be improved.

"But I didn't teach a lesson," says the ATR.

The Brienza guy ignores what he said and insists there was a lesson.

Surreal in some worlds, but in the tangled relationship between the UFT and the DOE, business as usual.

Let's follow the bouncing ball:
  • The UFT abandons ATRs to the fates and refuses to give them any representation by allowing them their own chapter. 
  • When challenged the UFT/Unity leadership says "ATRs are not a permanent position."
  • The DOE agrees with their partners at the UFT - that the ATRs are not permanent and has a plan to phase them out. They spend an enormous amount of money hiring field supervisors - known among many ATRs as "failed supervisors" in previous positions.
  • In addition to the failed supervisors being used to go after ATRs we now find out that they have hired Brienza, whose COO was the sister of the UFT president.
  • Brienza is clearly hired not to assist the ATRs but to assist the field/failed supervisors in removing ATRs who become a target.
  • They are all being very careful to make sure that when they observe the ATRs they are covering in their license areas and they often badger the people in the schools to make sure to get certain classes for the ATR, better if they are the worst classes in the school -- yes, some people at the school level are annoyed enough at these FS and consultants to be supportive of ATRs whom they think are doing a good job in a bad situation.  
In all of my criticism of the UFT I rarely accuse the leadership of out and out corruption. But someone explain to me how they are so silent while enormous amounts of money is being spent to monitor people who are in essence substitute teachers. In the over 100 year history of the NYC school system, have outside agents ever been hired to monitor subs? So we know that the way a sub does his or her job is and has always been irrelevant as long as they are not utter incompetents.

So it is clear that the very purpose of field supervisors and Brienza is to get rid of people by putting enough pressure on them to get them to leave. We know that there are union officials who have been told about these stories. Public silence.

That the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership is complicit even if not outright, but by their silence.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A MORE meeting addressing ATRs

Please come to this special MORE Caucus event on Sunday afternoon, February 28 12-3 pm, at P.S. 58, 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn. Absent Teacher Reserve issues will be among the topics on the agenda. Other agenda issues include Family leave, Opt-out, and a Member-driven union.

The MORE Caucus-UFT platform pledges to reintegrate ATRs into schools of their choice.
Co-location with charter schools and other new schools has driven the excessing crisis. Perhaps the biggest factor currently impacting principals' reluctance to hire ATRs, is "Fair Student Funding." Additionally, "leadership academy" principals want to hire teachers that lack an institutional memory of their contractual rights. Many of the new recruits are Teach for America trainees who arrive with a mere five weeks of training.
The MORE platform further pledges to end the UFT involvement in UFT charter schools, except as representation of union members. It calls for the union to be member-driven. To that end, it calls for union positions to be subject to election and recall. MORE's platform proposes that dues increases should be voted on at the Delegate's Assembly. 

Jia Lee, MORE's presidential candidate, wrote this statement of support of the ATRs:




The Absent Teacher Reserve: An Injury to One is an Injury to All
By Jia Lee
MORE Presidential Candidate


Imagine you’re standing alongside a rapid flowing river. You see someone being carried along mercilessly. You jump in, holding onto a rope and pull this person out. As soon as you emerge, you see another, so you jump in again. Each time you emerge, you turn to see more people. Perhaps, others join in solidarity. We become so enrapt in trying to save people, we never venture to find the root source of the problem. 

The Current Situation:

According to a recent Chalkbeat article, City Data Shows Number in Absent Teacher Reserve Remains Steady*, there are currently 1,083 teachers in the ATR pool, down from 1,102 in January 2015. The city reports 500 new teachers hired full time in 2014 and 2015, and since January of 2014, 450 teachers have exited the system. The article does not specify who was hired full time and who left the system. There is no breakdown. We know new teachers are being hired into the system while hearing horror stories by our mid-career colleagues in the ATR. The numbers don’t adequately tell the stories and experiences of the teachers who have been displaced, made certain through negotiations by union leadership.

Further, there is no mention of the unfair and arbitrary treatment of teachers in rotation or those placed into provisional placements. In a system that is under one of the most top down and oppressive conditions ever, being in the ATR has seeped negative connotations and stigma. Internalized oppression has manifested into traumatic disorders and affected the quality of life of so many of our colleagues. It’s unconscionable. Yet, our union leadership fails to understand that an injury to one is an injury to all.  

Despite the provisions in the newest contract that is supposed to make it easier for members in the ATR pool to go on interviews, there is an unspoken and subversive feeling that something is not right. Has anyone outside of the ATR asked how teachers in this situation are evaluated? Most, so entrenched in their own survival, don’t realize that those in the ATR are under an observation and evaluation system that is not written anywhere in our contract. Ask anyone who is in this situation at your school.

The Source

The framing of the stories continue to be controlled by the same folks who have spent untold billions to privatize public education. We have yet to read or hear about schools as places where people form relationships to foster nurturing places for teaching and learning- that once dismantled, the human nature of that work is destroyed. Teachers are not interchangeable widgets. At the core of of a school is the community of people within it. Forcing teachers to go from school to school, as if they are interchangeable, ignores and worse, does not care to support the teachers, hence the students in the school. We must understand that all UFT members are subject to arbitrary school closures based on invalid metrics, so we must stand in solidarity with teachers who are placed in our schools and welcome them.
In the Chalkbeat article, there’s an acknowledgement that the number of teachers in the ATR have remained steady due to the stall in school closures that were so aggressive before DeBlasio took office. Even with the stall, there was an agreement made before the change of mayoral and chancellorship power. Only one side remains constant, and that is the Unity leadership who helped to create the ATR. It is frustrating beyond comprehension as to why, given the precarious conditions of moving and having to adapt from school to school, our union leadership shot down a resolution by a very well known teacher in the ATR, to have, in the least, its own chapter with elected representation. One would think that the union leadership has something to gain from preventing such empowerment. As a chapter leader of seven years who’s attended nearly every delegate assembly, I started to take note of all the times our current president proudly stated that they helped us avoid layoffs. However, what the leadership does not seem to remind folks of is how they conceded to school closures and the displacement of teachers, an egregious act that would put them in the same boat as ed deformers.

Returning to the analogy I started with, through collaborative research and work with others within and beyond MORE, we have made our way to the source of the attack on our profession, students and schools. Many already know that the UFT is the single largest teachers union local. We stand in the way of a greater objective by the corporate elite who are vying for control. Years ago, our leadership cowered to the false rhetoric being put out by the Koch brothers and Broads that the source of an “achievement gap” was the teachers. So, despite the mountains of evidence that standardized tests could not be used to evaluate schools and teachers, our leadership welcomed it. They welcomed mayoral control, the Common Core with its high stakes tests, Danielson rubrics, charters (the UFT started two) and scripted curriculum, while doing nothing to combat the managerial and lean production model used by administrators coming out of the leadership academy.

The state then used a norm-referenced bell curve designed to ensure a bottom percentage of schools that could then be labeled as failing. Many of those schools were targeted for charter co-locations. As schools closed, teachers, students and entire communities were displaced. This played right into the false narrative by ed deformers. The leadership of our union fails to acknowledge that their strategies of “having a seat at the table” are dangerous and damaging. What they helped to create is a breakdown in membership-wide solidarity. Our first defense is us; it has not been and will not be the leadership.

The MORE caucus, is not, in and of itself, a top-down structure. We have bylaws that ensure term limits and democratic decision making. If you have ever attended a MORE general meeting, you know that we painstakingly work to make ensure that anyone who wants to speak on an issue, raise proposals and have an opinion that differs from others is heard. We work to have distributive leadership within our structure, creating, in practice, the kind of union we want to see.

Our MORE 2016 Platform** states:
  • MORE seeks to dismantle the notion of an absent teacher reserve and provide for all teachers to find a school community that is the right fit.
  • MORE believes in a strong ATR chapter with elected representatives

**http://morecaucusnyc.org/2016/01/02/our-2016-platform/
 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

ATRs' lawsuit on observation violations

Some ATRs are starting a class action suit on the issue of observations.

The lawsuit focuses on making a complaint contending that the DOE has violated the DOE-UFT contract regarding ATRs, specifically, on DOE violations of “Teaching for the 21st Century.” You can access the document here: http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/teaching-for-the-21st-century.pdf

The UFT has this page on observation rights as well: http://www.uft.org/doe-documents/observation-evaluation

There is a goal of January 28 for having names and grievances for starting a lawsuit. Those interested in joining should do so by contacting the email address below. Please email that address or the address at the top of this page for the problematic points that you should be noting.

Please send your name as a contact if you might be interested in joining this potential suit, to doeatreducators@gmail.com.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Six basic questions that neither Farina nor Mulgrew have had the sense to address about the coming closures of 3 Brooklyn schools

Now that three (3) "troubled schools" in Brooklyn will be closing next year for "under performance and under enrollment", why hasn't anyone put this complex question to
FARINA and MULGREW...

1) Where do these teachers go when they are excessed??
2)  If they will be placed, how can they be placed when there are over 
     1,500 ATRs still waiting for placement?
3)  If these teachers are leaving the "closing" schools for other placements in
     "vacancies", will ATRs be placed in that "coverage" (provisional positions)
      when the school officially closes?
4)   How can the ATR pool go down when the DOE/UFT is creating this cycle?
5)   During an election year, will anyone address this "dark secret"?
6)   Who will acquire the available space when the schools are closed - 
      charter or the other public school?

If these questions are already answered, and the newspapers haven't put 2+2 together for the QUANDARY that will arise in 2016-17, then this dilemma is not addressed in some plausible way!!

Keep in mind, the next salary increase happens in MAY 2016 and many of our ATRs are reaching salary levels that are going beyond the compensatory levels within school budgets. (Despite Principals being told, it's not coming from their budgets unless over the allotted "average teacher salary in the bldg) This will definitely put a major strain upon hiring any ATRs for 2016-17 budget levels. For example, those teacher reaching 15 yrs are now prime targets for being "over budget and over age" and the most senior teacher in some schools will be 13yrs, if that!!  Hence, where do these teachers start to find positions especially when majority of positions are not on the DOE website or advertised as expected.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

NJ ATR fought her set-up tenure termination and won

Earlier this year a Newark teacher fought her tenure termination and won in state arbitration. The infamous Cami Anderson, who had overseen schools in New York City correctional institutions, and then ruled Newark Public Schools, sought to tighten the pressure on our displaced teacher counterparts, "Educators Without Placements," (EWP). Remember that the righteous Anderson was driven out of office after intense protests by Newark Public Schools students.

Bob Braun's Ledger:

How Newark set up a tenured teacher to fail

Tenured Newark school teacher LaRhonda Ragland—a former member of the Alvin Ailey dance company and a New Jersey Nets cheerleader—was set up to fail  by the  state-run school administration, a state-appointed arbitrator has ruled. In a 41-page decision reinstating the teacher after the district tried to fire her, the arbitrator described how Ragland, a single mother with a teenaged child, was declared an “educator without placement” (EWP)  by the administration of superintendent Cami Anderson, then transferred from  Maple Avenue School to Arts High  where she was given non-teaching duties to perform. She was assigned to teach  only when administrators wanted to evaluate her–then gave her poor evaluations.
“The District set Respondent (Ragland) up to fail and simply marked time until it could file tenure charges against the teacher,” wrote state-appointed arbitrator, Timothy Brown.
Brown described how Ragland, who had appeared in the Off-Broadway show “Jam the Groove,” was made a hall-monitor and some-time substitute teacher of non-dance subjects at Arts High where administrators made it clear early on in her stay there that she was not welcome.  She was only evaluated for the few days she was assigned to teach high school-level dance classes, something she had  not done in her previous nine years in the Newark public schools.
“It is fiction to believe that Respondent would succeed in observations of
her teaching high school students at a high school devoted to the arts
when Respondent had previously taught dance only at the elementary
school level and had been assigned hall monitoring and substitute
teaching in non-dance subjects at the arts high school,” Brown concluded.
The arbitrator made it clear that the administration wanted Ragland to fail.
“By its actions and inactions….the District pursued a course of
conduct that assured that, rather than conduct observations of a dance teacher teaching a
dance class of the teacher’s students, the District could conduct observations of a
substitute teacher/hall-monitor attempting to teach students for whom the teacher had no
teacher-student relationship. The outcome of such observations were effectively
determined before they began….”
Throwing tenured teachers out of their jobs and making them EWPs has been a favorite strategy of the state administration under Anderson. By the beginning of this school year, Anderson had assigned more than 400 teachers to EWPs positions in the apparent hope that many would quit rather than be paid for doing nothing.
Many, however, did not quit and Ragland’s experiences shows what happens–they face being set up to fail by being assigned to jobs they are not trained to do.
The arbitrator also found the administration had no intention of helping Ragland overcome whatever problems she may have had in her difficult transition from an elementary school teacher to a EWPs position in high school. Such efforts to help teachers with alleged problems are required both by the new teacher tenure law and the district’s contract with the Newark Teachers Union (NTU).
“TEACHNJ”–the new teacher tenure law–”contemplates that, before he or she may be terminated from a teaching positions (sic), to improve the performance of the struggling teacher, such a teacher will receive a real – rather than feigned – prolonged effort to provide guidance and mentorship from the most advanced and knowledgeable educators in the teacher’s school: the principal and high-level administrators. Here, the District, through its administrators at Arts High School, predetermined that Respondent would never improve and could not be successfully reformed and arbitrarily withheld such efforts from Respondent, ” the arbitrator wrote.
Brown, the arbitrator, describes just how unwelcome the school administration made Ragland feel. He wrote, ” Only a week or two before her first observation,
Respondent was unambiguously advised in a disciplinary write-up from
principal (Lynn Irby-Jackson) that ‘…you are a EWPS teacher…you are not
an Arts High School dance teacher…’ Such
reflects Respondent’s status as an outsider at the school and the
Principal’s view that Respondent was not at the High School for
purposes of teaching dance.”
Brown also noted that the principal called Ragland “functionally illiterate” and said she was “outraged” that she was allowed to teach at Arts. Clearly, whatever the motive Anderson may have had for sending her to Arts as a EWP, Irby-Jackson didn’t want her there.
The NTU, which has represented Ragland and nearly a dozen other teachers brought up on tenure charges by Anderson, has won all its tenure cases this year and has repeatedly called on the superintendent and state Education Commissioner David Hespe to stop the efforts to fire tenured teachers,
The other cases were thrown out because Anderson insisted on using evaluations in both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 years as admissible against teachers under the new anti-tenure bill, TEACHNJ. However, both law and regulations considered that first year to be a “pilot” year and evaluations conducted then could not be used.
Under the anti-tenure law, any teacher who receives two years of bad evaluations must be brought up on expedited tenure charges.
The arbitrator in the Ragland case cited that reason for dismissing the tenure charges against her but he also pointed out that the district failed any effort to try to help the teacher improve.  The efforts, he said, were “feigned,” and not real.
Ragland, 44, was raised in Chicago and began her dancing there. She moved east in 1993 and worked professionally as a dancer until 2005 when she was hired by the Newark public schools as a an alternate route teacher.
Robert Pickett, the West Orange lawyer who defended Ragland, called the arbitrator’s  decision “a major victory, not just for Ms.Ragland, but for all teachers who must rely on the new tenure law to keep their jobs.”
Pickett said he already has demanded that Ragland be reinstated “in a position that is consistent with her license and her experience.”
Ragland said she would not comment on the case.
(If events like this trouble you, you might consider signing this petition: If events like this trouble you, you might consider signing this petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/petition-for-the-resignation-1
Ras Baraka did).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In the season of ATR liquidation, some sobering realities of how excessed teachers in other cities are much luckier

The DeBlasio-Farina liquidation of the ATRs via U ratings by field supervisors for ATR performances in subbing settings within student strangers, is in full swing, accelerated over the rates seen in Bloomberg's last term, as we've analyzed this month (for instance, here) and as the Chaz blog has reported here. The UFT? It is completely silent. As we've pointed out, its leadership backed observations as soon as rotation started in fall, 2011. Remember, Weingarten, yes, terrible for agreeing in 2005 to the end of the seniority transfer and agreeing in 2007 to Fair School Funding (aka Fair Student Funding), at least sued the DOE for age discrimination, and spoke forcefully of our worth as educators. Words you'll never hear in public from Michael Mulgrew or Leroy Barr.
Clearly, life is far worse for ATRs today, compared to the first two terms of Bloomberg.

The UFT loves to allude to excessed teachers' find a job in a few months or get terminated condition in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. UFT really must thank their lucky stars that Chicago teachers are just a few months to "find a new job" after they get excessed from school closings or other causes. But the UFT is a just employing a deception that deflects from the rosier status for excessed teachers elsewhere in the nation. As you see from this linked comparative study of excessing nationally, the trend is that districts place teachers and that SENIORITY HELPS teachers.
This Thanksgiving, be conscious that even though you might "feel happy you have a job," keep in mind that the trend in many other U.S. cities is towards placement. This ultimately links with the observations issue, because is that there is NO parallel situation of veteran teachers observed out of license or in subbing situations and losing their licenses over this. Take time to carefully read this survey of over 100 cities and their teacher excessing practices. Visit the original site at the National Council for Teacher Quality to see the graphics. And remember: the NYC DOE places excessed paraprofessionals; so why can't the DOE return to pre-2011 practices? Have DOE outcomes really improved since the DOE adopted the rotation policy?
Remember; the U ratings for subbing performances are real: they are sending teachers into 3020a termination hearings.

From the NCTQ site:

April 2015: Transfers and Excessing

Welcome to the Teacher Trendline, NCTQ’s monthly newsletter designed just for school district officials (subscribe here). Each month we use data from NCTQ’sTeacher Contract Databaseto highlight the latest trends in school district policies and collective bargaining agreements nationwide. The database contains teacher policies from 118 school districts and two charter management organizations, including the 50 largest districts, the largest district in each state, Broad Prize winners, Gates investment districts and members of the Council of the Great City Schools. State-level teacher policies from all 50 states are also included.Send feedback to teachertrendline@nctq.org.
Whether by choice or circumstance, teachers change schools within districts regularly. This month's Teacher Trendline will examine what teachertransfers and excessing looks like in the 118 districts in the Teacher Contract Database.
Transfers
Voluntary transfers are often initiated by teachers for personal or professional reasons. Teachers may want to transfer to another school for a wide variety of reasons, such as philosophical differences with a principal or a desire to teach in a school closer to home. For most teachers, there's little risk in seeking a voluntary transfer: until a transferring teacher has been assigned to a new position, he or she does not give up the old one.
In some districts, teachers who voluntarily transfer are given priority during the hiring process. While about half of the districts in the Teacher Contract Database do not address this issue in contract and/or board policy, 41 percent of districts give priority to internal transfers for vacant positions. 

 [See original article for chart.]

The eight districts that do not formally prioritize internal transfers over new hires for vacancies are Burlington (VT), Dayton (OH), Fargo,Fulton County (GA), Nashville, Newark, Prince William County and St. Paul.
The 49 districts that do give preference to internal transfers for vacancies sometimes face criticism around this practice because this prioritization can have the unintended consequence of prolonging the hiring process, pushing potential new hires out of districts’ human capital pipeline. Some districts try to avoid this challenge by getting a head start on the hiring process and/or limiting the time in which transferring teachers receive priority.
Boston, for example, provides a limited window of 10 days in which permanent teachers who are transferring can have priority in applications. Duval County (FL) gives priority to internal transfers until May 1. Voluntary transfers in Los Angeles only receive preference until April 15. In San Diego, internal transfers receive "priority consideration" for vacancies; however, in priority schools, positions not filled by February, relatively early in the hiring cycle, are opened to outside candidates.
Excessing
As opposed to voluntary transfers, excessing is a process where teachers are involuntarily forced to move schools because they no longer have a position in their current school. Teachers are excessed when a school has to cut or change the composition of staff due to any number of issues including, but not limited to, a drop in student enrollment, budgetary cuts or programmatic changes.
Districts negotiate a number of ways to identify teachers for excessing, but the most common method found in collective bargaining agreements is still seniority. Of the districts in the Teacher Contract Database, nearly half (48 percent) use district-level seniority as the primary factor for excessing teachers. Another 16 percent use seniority in addition to other factors, like school need or teacher performance.
Only 13 percent of districts do not use seniority as either a primary or significant factor when excessing; of these districts, five percent use seniority as a tie-breaker if all other characteristics between two teachers are equal.

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West Ada (ID), one of the districts that use seniority to identify teachers for excessing, utilizes both school- and district-level seniority in the excessing process. In cases where there is a surplus of teachers within one school, West Ada teachers are identified for excessing based on building seniority; district seniority is used as a tiebreaker if all other factors are equal.
Placement after excessing
Usually, excessed teachers are not out of a job, as the district is contractually obligated to find them a new position.
Mutual consent, a process in which teachers and principals mutually agree on a teacher’s placement within a school through an interview process, is practiced in 12 districts in the Teacher Contract Database. Of those, Douglas County (CO) and Boston allow only tenured teachers to be a part of the mutual consent process.
In 14 districts, excessed teachers are placed in schools in order of their seniority based on their preferences. In the five districts where excessed teachers are placed in schools based on multiple factors, four of those districts (Cleveland, Jefferson County (KY), Kansas City (MO) andOklahoma City) use seniority as one of the factors for assigning excessed teachers to new schools.
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 When mutual consent is used to place excessed teachers into new positions, as it is in 12 districts in the Teacher Contract Database (Boston,Denver, District of Columbia, Douglas County (CO), Harrison District Two (CO), Minneapolis, Newark, Palm Beach County (FL),Polk County (FL), Providence, San Francisco and Seattle) there are times when teachers are left without a match. The policies for what happens to those teachers at that point in the process are listed in the table below.
 [See original article for chart.]