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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Field Supervisors, the proverbial DOE Sandmen vs. ATRs

Teacher ratings for the year are out and the DOE is giving career jeopardizing evaluation ratings that arise from teaching in substituting contexts. New York City excessed teachers, ATRs, if you haven't gotten your rating yet, click to this link.

As being covered well at the Chaz blog and the ICEUFT blog, the DOE has been giving U ratings to ATRs in substitute assignments. Read the blogs. Are there any ATRs writing comments defending the DOEUFT's status quo, defending the UFT's performance?

The observations of ATRs in rotating assignments is unprofessional and unacceptable on several counts:
*The ATRs often don't know the students.
*The ATRs often have been covering a class out of license, with or without the regular teacher's lesson plan.
*The ATRs are told to differentiate lessons for the students, but they have not met them or have not been provided their IEPs or other personal data such as ELL status.
*The people tolerating or designing these policies from De Blasio, on down to Farina, to ATR central, to the field supervisors are forgetting what they probably observed from their own childhood experiences – students do not consider substitutes worthy of respect, and the older the students, the less likely that they are to do the classwork.
*The ATRs are being evaluated on factors that are not sanctioned by the DOE-UFT contract: Common Core and Danielson, when the ATRs are supposed to be evaluated under "Teaching for the 21st Century."
*Many ATRs are getting their first stream of U ratings and letters in the file in 21 years. Doesn't it seem like Farina's DOE is trying to beat the clock to prevent teachers from collecting full pensions. 

We ought to recognize the bigger picture of what is happening. Just as with the Sandmen in the film "Logan's Run," who hunt down people for termination the Runners, those people over 30 years of age that refuse to submit to euthenasia, this U-rating process is feeding into larger societal trends of deprofessionalizing, of ending careers of people over 45, of accomplishing the effective breaking of tenure, of evading paying full pensions due, all goals of reformer politicians such as Cuomo. Age discrimination is rampant in the employment field. The DOE is accomplishing the introduction of the larger social trend of terminating or harassment of workers over 45. On the latter, see the report, "Is 45 the new old age in the workplace?" which references "Logan's Run." 

The DOEUFT: The DOE can do all of this, unimpeded because the Mulgrew (Unity & New Action endorsed) and Barr led UFT does not and will not make priorities out of protecting ATRs and abiding the contract. Instead, the UFT continuously refuses to allow ATRs to have their own true representatives. See for example here and here.

Violation of union obligations to ATRs is the by-product of the UFT's dogged refusal to allow true, accountable representatives. While it may not be actual collusion, in end result: allowing the destruction of professional lives, the effect is as though there is collusion.

Things were better under Cathie Black: The UFT actually gains from the absurd system of ATRs in rotation, and playing along with the fraud that ATRs just need to try harder to find jobs during the Open Market Transfer period. From a budgetary perspective it would make sense to place ATRs. However, the UFT goes along with the rotation system, one of the early innovations of Chancellor Walcott. Here's how the UFT benefits: the UFT draws in full dues for the ATRs in rotations plus it pulls in dues from those teachers in positions that the ATRs could have otherwise filled. So, the UFT benefits by getting two dues income streams. It is curious that the UFT treasurer is in a group message to ATRs. Are the DOE and the UFT coordinating on certain levels that ATRs should know about but do not? See the latest post at 


  1. I was given my first u rating in 22 years of babysitting. The rating was so poorly done that I filed a complaint and in 6 short months I won a reversal. In fact the ASSistant principal that was my supervisor didn't bother showing up at the hearing. What was the consequence for the AP or the principal who signed off on these observations. NOTHING!!!!! Wonder what would have been my consequence had I not filed a complaint?

  2. Who supervises the field supervisors?