Thursday, November 23, 2017
The False Narrative of the UFT and DOE on ATRs
I read Arthur's blog on the last UFT's Execution (as in what group of teachers will be executed - it was Clinton High School's teachers) Board Meeting http://nyceducator.com/2017/11/uft-executive-board-november-20-2017.htmland was surprised to read that Mike Sill said that the buyout had an impact on the ATR numbers, the number of ATRs were down and he hoped to get the numbers. The numbers that took the buyout were, if I remember correctly around 135. The number of newly minted ATRs in June were never released - but you can bet your keister they were significantly more than 135. If they release numbers that show a reduction they will be false. This is to silence the critics of the ATR pool that want us regarded as losers with the help of a highly publicized campaign from the DOE and the UFT. (I think they may be regretting that ploy.) We were told that we were to be forced placed into positions where there were vacancies as of October 15th. (This was meant to strike fear in as many ATRs as possible and get them to retire.) I currently know about 50 ATRs and know of only one that was provisionaly placed this fall. That guy is a friend of a friend. This is much different than last year when at least 20 ATRs I know were provisionaly placed. So not only are there more ATRs, there are more being rotated as babysitters. This is in sharp contrast to last spring's announcements from Mulgrew, Farina and Mr. Asher. What happened?
First, I think that Asher really intended to do what he said, but certain things got in the way. Unfair Student Funding made all ATRs too expensive for any school (and there may have been a push to end it, that was not entertained by the powers that be)- so all principals scrambled to hire teachers before the cutoff date. The charter groups also want teaching to be a temporary job and if experienced professionals are allowed back into the classroom, this is a real threat. Therefore they got (paid?) some charter school parents to picket against ATRs being placed back into public schools and had the tabloids cover it. (How is this affecting charter school parents? ATRs are much more qualified than their children's teachers and they weren't being placed in charter schools.) So instead of Farina and Mulgrew defending us, Farina said no ATR would be placed in a renewal school. Good. Good for us. Who the hell wants to be placed in one anyway? So many of us waited to be placed in our subject area as teachers. Instead, what we got were placements outside our licensed area grade levels and rotations into hellish warehouses. Many ATRs frantically called and emailed Mike Sill. He did help several I know get into the proper school settings for their licensed grade level, but did not help relieve anyone's travel hardships or dangerous placements. All have told me he has a Mr. Raj return calls and placate them with false hopes.
As Janus appears on the horizon I would hope that the UFT would start to represent ATRs fairly and with transparency. Step #1 - end UnFair Student Funding.