For an end to the “Open Market” in the NYC Dept of Education
It is time to reclaim some control of the transfer process.
If, for example, you would like to transfer to the Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters, and you followed the rules, you would wait for the Open Market (in a few weeks), apply, and be rejected. The job will likely be posted on the Open Market, but only after it has been filled. Look at the real listing.
I’m not picking on Arts and Letters. The DoE has communicated the message that there are no rules. The UFT has been unable to enforce any rules. The Open Market is the Wild West for administrators. Teachers, that’s us, are the cows.
There is no check on discrimination. There is no check on cronyism. And both run rampant.
Let’s look at 5 ways to rein in the system:
- End the uncontrolled, unregulated, open-ended hiring period: “Vacancies will be posted starting as early as April 15 of each year and will continue being posted throughout the Spring and Summer” this should be replaced by a definite hiring period, as we had under all previous transfer plans. The open-ended plan allows principals to hire ‘on the side’ and then quickly post and fill the position. It means teachers never get a global sense of how many positions are available in their license, or how many OTHER positions are available, putting them at an incredible disadvantage. There should be a listing date (eg, April 1 through May 1), an application period (eg April 1 through May 15) an interview period, and a notification period (eg June 1 through June 15).
- “Candidates may also apply to schools that have not advertised vacancies in their license areas so that their applications are on file at the school should a vacancy arise” This always took place, to some extent. But by introducing it into the contract, the message is sent that there are no set procedures. All the rights accrue to the DoE. Teachers are on their own. The language should be deleted.
- “Interviews will be conducted by school-based human resources committees (made up of pedagogues and administration) with the final decision to be made by the principal.” a) the committees must be re-empowered. While the principal’s voice is clearly the strongest on the committee, it is the committee that should be making the decision, otherwise, in most cases, they will not meet at all. b) the composition of the committees needs to be specified. This was done quite clearly for the SBO transfer committees (majority UFT members; and may have included parents and students as well). c) the committees need to be renamed from the insulting “human resources” back to the accurate “hiring committee”
- New hires should not be hired during the transfer period.
- Any ATR applicants should be notified in writing if they were not interviewed or hired, with an explanation.
(Quotations come from the current Board of Education teachers contract – Article 18 Section A)
Better yet would be a return to our previous transfer system(s). The Fair Student Funding (iow, Penalizing principals for hiring senior teachers) should be ended. And a return to unit costing would make it more difficult to recreate the current discriminatory hiring system.
By allowing the current system to develop, we’ve fed vulnerable members to the wolves. This must be stopped.