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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Educator sets the record straight to Daily News on editorial's falsehoods about ATRs

An ATR writes to the Daily News editorial board after their deceptive March 23 editorial maligning the professional worth of ATRs.

Dear Editorial Board,

  It is disheartening to continually read your editorials expressing falsehoods in disparaging ATRs (excessed teachers).

   You do not have the facts when you state ATRs are unable to find positions. It is common knowledge principals are refusing to permanently hire ATRs because of their higher salaries that are charged to their budgets. In addition, since Sept. 2011, when ATRs began weekly rotations, principals have used ATRs "provisionally", to fill vacancies. However, the ATR is then let go at the end of the semester (goes back to the ATR pool) and the school hires a new teacher. In this manner, the school saves money two ways, as provisional hires (ATRs) are charged at a small rate to the budget and a new teacher is hired at a starting salary.

  The above can be proven by submitting a FOIL for the number of ATRs that have been appointed to positions (not provisionally hired) since Sept. 2011.

   ATRs are teachers who have many years of experience and are therefore valuable resources to the system. To claim principals don't want them because they cannot teach is absurd. Consider also the excessed guidance counselors, librarians,social workers,etc, who cannot find positions.

  In conclusion, teachers are employed by the Department of Education and not any particular school. They should be placed in vacancies before new hires. They should be given the opportunity to teach and be evaluated like other teachers and not pre-judged through biased opinions.

James Calantjis


  1. Schools are so under staffed right now it is truly unbelievable in that students are not getting the services they truly need....i.e. guidance services - currently the DOE chooses to "rotate" guidance counselors weekly from school to school and this causes students to miss out on any type of bonding to a specific guidance counselor whether its regarding social emotional issues, report card, transcripts, college planning, family counseling. Instead, under the old mike bloomberg system. mikey choose to have the counselors rotate why it is beyond my comprehension. So, the problem here is that the Daily News seems to have gotten this story wrong - why are they demonizing the educators in the atr pool when indeed the students of nyc need them so badly??

  2. This is my fifth year as an ATR; four each of the last four years, I've been teaching in license, then dumped at the end of the year. As long as I'm teaching a class within license, the students get a good education (last year, 85% passed the regents, then I was dumped for two Teaching Fellows).

    That guidance counselors are rotated is an absolute travesty. A good guidance counselor makes connections to a student, the student's teachers, the student's families, the student's community; this relationship takes years to develop. It is an absolute travesty that the students of NYC are being denied advocates. Thanks Bloomberg!