Hello, ATRs are suing

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.
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.
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.

 [See original article for chart.]

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.
 [See original article for chart.]
 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.]


  1. Great article! It needs to sent to Mulgrew, Arundel, And Barr. It should be read at the next DA.

  2. Chalkbeat should publish a real article of investigative journalism like this one.

  3. Thanks.
    And call up Chaz School Daze blog, Oct. 25, on your phone, to show your relatives, when you explain why you can't get a position.

  4. A truly important article on many levels. The current ATR agreement ends in June (2016).
    When the UFT walks into those negotiations they need to know that we know other cities do NOT treat their displaced teachers in such a humiliating way. Thank you.