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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ATR to Daily News: Seasoned Teachers Are the Best!

In response to a steady fuselage of media smears against the teachers in the NYC Absent Teacher Reserve, a teacher wrote a letter, which the Daily News fortunately printed:

Brooklyn: Re Nicole Thomas’ Op-Ed “Don’t force a dud teacher on my kid” (Aug. 2): Thomas is either unaware of or willfully ignoring the facts about forced placements of teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve pool. ATRs are all teachers whose salaries are near the top of the scale because of their long experience. I have never met a young teacher in the ATR pool. Most of the ATRs I have met can teach circles around many current, younger teachers, and research shows that, other factors being equal, experienced teachers are more effective. However, the Department of Education, which doesn’t want to pay our salaries, has vilified experienced teachers who are in the ATR pool due to school closings or reorganizations. Principals who don’t want to pay our salaries often give us unsatisfactory ratings to force us out. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg changed the school funding formula for their teaching staff so that hiring experienced teachers became a liability. Thomas’ child would probably be lucky to get a former ATR as a teacher. The real problem is that we are being foisted onto schools where we are not wanted without our consent, to work for principals who, in many cases, want us to fail and who create or exacerbate the conditions that make their schools hard to staff. Gina Trent