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Teaching Fellows – late October notes

October 20, 2008 am31 1:17 am

There were 1600 Teaching Fellows hired in New York City this year. That number was too high.

There were teachers already in the system, but who weren’t teaching. These Attendance Teachers in Reserve, or something like that (in any case ATRs) are mostly teachers from schools or programs that closed who did not get picked up by another school. The NYC Department of Education created a disincentive to principals to hire these experienced teachers, and principals responded for the most part by not hiring them.

There were also regularly certified hires (idk how many). And Teach for America temp teachers. (any ideas? about 2-300?) They claim 1000 in NYC, and since only a third teach beyond the second year, I’d guess a ratio of 6 Year 1s to 6 Year 2s to 2 Year 3s to 1 Year 4, which would give 400 new hires, but that seems a lot. Anyone know?

So more NYCTFs were hired, even when NYC had over 1000 teachers who needed slots, and even as other hiring was going on. No surprise, some of the Fellows did not find positions. More of a surprise, the number who got a position and then were almost immediately excessed and became ATRs themselves, and the number who never got a position (about 150).

The teachers who never got a position are in immediate danger: the Department of Education plans to fire them (not lay them off) December 5.

What has the union (United Federation of Teachers) done?

This is an important question, as some teaching fellows are angry at the union. This is understandable, as it is the union’s job to protect all teachers, but it is also wrong, as it is the Department of Education and the NYCTF that have screwed these fellows.

Wednesday, in passing a resolution in support of the ATRs, the UFT also included language vowing to do what it could to prevent the firings. And Fellows who were hired and then excessed, ie Fellow ATRs, cannot be laid off at this point.

The union has also taken the position that all ATRs should be placed in teaching positions before there is any new hiring in their license area. This makes sense. There was a resolution to this effect last year (New Action brought it forward) and it was backed up by some tough talk, especially recently. However, the union is not in a position to do more than ask.

Some related links (some are ATR, some are NYCTF):

Next post:

  • why Teaching Fellows matter, and how Fellows and ATRs are linked
  • why we can’t do more now
  • how did we get in this mess
  • how we should be asking
  • what we should ask for
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