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For an end to the “Open Market” in the NYC Dept of Education

April 4, 2009 pm30 10:35 pm

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:

  1. 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).
  2. “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.
  3. “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”
  4. New hires should not be hired during the transfer period.
  5. 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.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2009 am30 4:07 am 4:07 am

    That sounds so logical.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    April 7, 2009 am30 6:55 am 6:55 am

    My wife got excessed last year at the end of the school year last and had to go through the open market. What a nightmare! She sent letters via fax and online applications to numerous schools. She also called each in person. Most of the schools had no one answering the phone over the summer. Many of the positions that were online were already filled.

    Thankfully she did find a position at a great school via luck and persistence (more of the former than the latter but both were essential).

    If you don’t mandate use of the system, the system breaks down. This is obviously true with the Open Market system in its current implementation.

    • openmarketsystemchaos! permalink
      April 18, 2009 pm30 9:11 pm 9:11 pm

      First of all, the open market system does not even open when it is supposed to which gives a teacher a shorter time span to look for a job. It should be opened for three months, meaning if it opens late or is “launched” late, as it will this year, (since the 2009 system is not even opened yet)it should close late! So therefore in all fairness, the system should not close this year on August 7th, but probably August 27th, 2009. It is crazy. So therefore, how it is stated above is impossible, since it does not open exactly in April. This year, as did last year it opened May 7th, the year before it was on time and opened mid March, which was great, it gave me enough time to find a job and I found one by the end of summer school of that year.
      So first, we must make sure that that open market system is launched on time. Also, to make sure that principals do not hire “on the side” the union should make sure that there are “set asides” that principals must adhere to such as “they must get 20% of their incoming teachers from the open market system”.
      This is the way the real estate market works in this country when the powers that be want to make sure that bias is not going on, so therefore real estate icons in Manhattan who get large tax advantages like many of them do have to adhere to a “set aside” rule in which a certain percentage of their high priced apartments must be given to the middle class and even people with lower income than this. I have a friend who lives in one of Trump’s buildings in downtown Manhattan, and all of her neighbors are millionares and she only makes 30k per year! Due to set asides!!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 16, 2009 am31 8:08 am 8:08 am

    I have applied to more than 100 schools on the Open Market hiring system and not one has even called me for an interview! I have a great resume, ideal and it’s breaking my heart.

    I have no idea what to do, I have wanted to transfer from my current position for years and I’m having no luck at all.

  4. ade permalink
    July 16, 2009 pm31 9:36 pm 9:36 pm


    It’s time to look outside the city unfortunately. I have come to this conclusion recently.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 5, 2009 pm31 8:56 pm 8:56 pm

      Me too! I loved teaching in the city, but more so now than ever it seems like the city wants green, easily intimidated teachers.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    August 5, 2009 pm31 9:13 pm 9:13 pm

    It’s not an option for me now to work outside the city but I have certainly thought of it. I have some friends who have transfered and all of them went to not highly desirable schools. All three of them came from a bad school (the same one). One got her job directly through the Open Market transfer system (this year), one did it a few years ago but she sent her resume to the school as well, the last one sent her resume directly to the principal of the school where she wanted to teach. When I briefly subbed in the schools where I wanted to teach I noticed something disturbing…all of the teachers were a. young and b.from Long Island! I live walking distance from tons of nice schools but all of their teachers are from LI, it’s really frustrating, especially since the commute from work to my place is often way more than an hour. I still have not had one invite for an interview and I truly have a great resume, peace corps, excellent MA, and my class performed extremely well on the state tests.

    • ade permalink
      August 6, 2009 am31 7:46 am 7:46 am

      It doesn’t matter what your resume looks like or how well your students performed on the State tests. Only a few things matter to principals:

      How much will it cost the school to hire you?

      How much extra stuff can you be “convinced” to do or will take on willingly?

      How many problems will you cause (with parents, teachers and students) because of your interactions/behaviors?

      If you are a new teacher, the first 2 questions could probably be answered favorably. The answer to the last question cannot be predicted but new teachers generally do not have many problems with teachers and students. Parents may be a different story depending on where you teach.

      If you have a lot of experience, good luck. Principals size up teachers with experience in a different way and tend to be very selective (almost cautious) when hiring them. If there is a clear and urgent need (whatever that means) for an experienced teacher, they’ll break the bank and go for experience. If not, they’ll go for the newbie everytime.

  6. Anonymous permalink
    August 6, 2009 am31 8:08 am 8:08 am

    Oh trust me, I have interviewed tons of teachers and I know how tricky it is with New York City Board of ed. I have seen lots of people with the exact amount of experience as me get positions. The ones I mentioned and another group of people, the ones who “know” someone and this, it seems to me, is the real way in. You have to have a connection. It’s amazing how important that is. On the day I was hired for my current job I was told how “good” it was that I had no experience with NYCDOE. I’m not trying to be in any way full of myself or think I’m something more than what I am but in the past, when I have been interviewed, Im usually offered the job. My gripe is the fact that principals won’t even interview me, that’s discrimination. I guess it’s age discrimination. I’m 37 which I’m sure is very old to some of you but I don’t feel old at all!

  7. Mix Master P permalink
    March 1, 2010 pm31 9:37 pm 9:37 pm

    I have ten years experience as a professional hydrogeologist (groundwater), eleven years experience as an earth science teacher, two masters degrees, good references, etc. Now as an ATR, no one wants to hire me and put me on their payroll……but they like how well the kids are doing.

    What a scam.

  8. jodama permalink
    March 24, 2010 pm31 5:52 pm 5:52 pm

    I got my latest job through a family friend. I tried the Open Market endlessly sending resume with no luck. I had a principal who was tormenting me and I had lost hope of ever getting away from her. Luckily I met my current principal who is a friend of my cousin’s and that’s how I got hired. Isn’t that ridiculous? I have 13 years experience and you would think I could have gotten a job without knowing someone but it doesn’t work that way anymore.

    • March 29, 2010 pm31 2:26 pm 2:26 pm

      Congratulations on landing on your feet.

      And thank you for sharing your story. It has become, unfortunately, the rule, rather than the exception.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    July 5, 2011 pm31 2:41 pm 2:41 pm

    Unfortunately the DOE has become even more croniistic as ever before. From Bloombergs leadership academy (which I question it’s accreditation, was it accredited by Bloomberg himself?) to the open market, teachers have lost their voice. Two more years of this bum and and we need to elect a pro labor mayor.

  10. anonymous permalink
    July 27, 2013 pm31 4:08 pm 4:08 pm

    There are many more applications than vacancies. Don’t be fooled when you see a lot of vacancies. Many of the listings are not current. The Open Market System isn’t always updated so you have to check with the school — although no one may answer during the summers — or with the principal via email. My interviews have gone well, but it’s very difficult to tell when there are other teachers who are being interviewed. In my opinion, they do look at the salary of the teacher, and someone new will be more likely hired. As of this point, there are few jobs in Long Island. The Open Market System isn’t easy to find a job.It’s highly competitive. I’ve received only two responses after sending out 60 applications. You have to do a lot of the legwork.

    We will have a new mayor soon. Things will get better.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    August 2, 2013 pm31 4:19 pm 4:19 pm

    I have also being search since I was excess in June. I have not received any responds. I hope that things change.


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