Monday, August 11, 2014
An ATR sends a correction letter to the Post for their imbalanced article on ATRs
An ATR sets the record straight, correcting Yoav Gonen's article in the New York Post. And meanwhile, the NYC DOE has been holding job fairs, through the summer, for new recruitment. Why haven't ATRs been informed of these fairs? Some schools are even recruiting on Craigslist, and at least one school is openly saying that licensure is not required. These new recruits are getting positions that could be filled by ATRs, fully licensed, experienced teachers. Why can't the UFT get a hiring freeze to prevent this displacement? Meanwhile, ATRs have submitted dozens of applications through the Open Market Transfer system, to no avail: no interviews. This has many ATRs thinking that this program is a hoax.
Your article on ATRs is not balanced.
Even though teachers (and guidance counselors, social workers, librarians, Assistant Principals) lost their jobs 'through no fault of their own"(UFT quote), principals have not been hiring them since 2011 due to their higher salaries which are charged to the school budgets. This is a fact as the new contract has a clause that now assures that the average teacher salary of a school will not increase if an ATR is hired.
Since 2011, principals have used ATRs to fill vacancies and leaves and then dismissed them at the end of the semester or leave, hiring new teachers. They saved money as they were not charged (or were charged very little) for the ATRs service during the semester and then save money on a permanent hire of a new teacher.
To say teachers are "unwanted" or "ineffective" because they are in the ATR pool and are not being hired, in effect because of DOE budget policy, is demeaning to these educators. Are the other staff in the ATR pool ineffective because they have been in the pool since 2011, such as guidance counselors?
Susan Edelman in her article last Sunday at least had a more balanced piece, acknowledging the budget issue in hiring ATRs.Your piece gave three paragraphs quoting Students First NY, which is anti-ATR.
Put ATRs in the classroom and evaluate them like other teachers rather than demonize them for being in the ATR pool. You should also provide the ATR perspective to readers.
In addition, you should FOIL to find out how many ATRs were permanently hired (not "provisionally" and tossed back into the pool) since 2001. I have been trying and DOE has not been forthcoming.