ATRs, the unrepresented -- no elected representatives in the UFT

"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected.
"To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another."
Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government

Hello, ATRs are suing

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A look at what's creating the 83% jump in teachers with mid-career resignations

Amidst the Daily News' disinformation campaign of lies and deceptions about the role and qualifications of ATRs (soundly rebutted in the Chaz blog's Truth About ATRs post earlier this week), the UFT newspaper on March 6 presented some facts, data on NYC DOE teacher resignations in recent years. Resignations of teachers with few years in the system decreased. On the other hand, the paper noted that resignations of mid-career teachers showed a marked jump. The article's table shows an 83% increase in resignations in teachers with 6-15 years in the system, from 496 teachers in 2008 to 907 in 2014.

There are patterns behind the scene that should be recognized. The stats in the article don't mention that tenure is being granted more rarely. Barely over fifty percent of teachers are being granted tenure.

And behind the big increase in resignations by 6-15 year teachers are forced resignations by teachers in the 3020a process, including teachers being hit with dubious rubber room charges. For those that doubt such an idea, there is a report from Houston's Fox station on how students are hosting video tutorials coaching other students on how to fire teachers. Teachers are wondering what exactly the UFT is planning, in the current contract negotiations, to reign in the Leadership Academy principals that are more concerned with vindictiveness than educational leadership.

Another question is how many teachers in the 6-15 year and over 15 year categories were ATRs that were driven out by the humiliating, hostile work environment of weekly rotation or the very dubious U ratings of ATR observations with students the teachers just met, an issue that has received much attention at the Chaz blog and the ICE-UFT blog recently.

When you see 20% or more in teaching staff turn-over at certain schools, every year, you have to ask not whether it's just the teachers, or is it something about the school itself that creates so many resignations or terminations. Across the system, the high number of resignations in recent years reflect exhaustion over working conditions: record high class sizes, how the schools are run and unrealistically high workload expectations, all of which had made teaching a more and more stressful and time-devouring job.

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