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The perils of the ATR

May 20, 2014 am31 6:25 am

by Lynne Winderbaum, retired ESL teacher, JFK HS, and former Bronx High School UFT District Rep

For the greater part of the 44 years that I have been a member of the UFT teachers truly believed that an assault against one of us was an assault against all of us. The idea of union was that if we all held together, we could accomplish what we never would be able to as individuals. There was one job title of teacher and we all enjoyed the same rights. I am puzzled now, or maybe just too old and nostalgic to understand, how under our most recent agreement, a certain category of teachers has been singled out for disparate treatment. The teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve have required more protection, not less. Their job security and their outlook have been shaken to the core by the fact that they are no longer appointed to a school.

When the wholesale closing of traditional high schools began under the Bloomberg administration, the borough hardest hit (and most embracing of small school creation to replace them) was the Bronx. Morris, Monroe, Taft, Roosevelt, Walton, New School, Evander Childs, Stevenson, and soon Kennedy and Columbus, shuttered. Veteran teachers were displaced not through any fault of their own, but as collateral damage in the effort to show that a reform was underway that would benefit students. Well, no such benefits have been the result and the loss of the large high schools has been an irreversible destruction. Graduation rates inflated by bogus “credit recovery”schemes (Education critics blast high school credit recovery – NY Daily News)  (Students earning credit with dubious make up work – NY Post) , changing of IEPs, waivers on providing special education and English Language Learner services, screening of students, and closing of many of the replacement small schools that were supposed to provide better instruction. (The New Marketplace: Executive Summary – The New School, Milano Institute of International Affairs, Center for New York Affairs)

In the final year of these closing ghost schools, the last students going down with the ship were often underserved as the Department of Education staffed them with a handful of remaining teachers to teach the last seniors. The city abandoned these students. But there was always a cadre of teachers in each school that refused to turn their backs them. These were usually veteran teachers, nearing retirement, who told me they felt an obligation to the students in a dire situation and would not leave for another school and make matters worse for them. When the doors finally closed, these dedicated teachers were in excess.

At a staff meeting of the UFT I rose to point out that this category of excessed teacher created by the massive school closings were unlike any other prior group of excessed teachers. For years “last in, first out” (LIFO) put in excess the most junior teachers in license on a staff that had a contraction of positions. So teachers who had one or two years of service were at risk. But the excessed pool now included hundreds of teachers with 20-30 years of satisfactory classroom service who had dedicated their entire professional lives to the students of New York City. This was new.

Since 2005, when the category of Absent Teacher Reserve was created, teachers in the ATR have always had a sense of uneasiness. I cannot recall a single school visit when an ATR teacher did not approach me and ask if the union would protect them. Will the next contract let us be fired? I always assured them that the UFT would stand by them. And that the ATR category was created to give them job protection. ATR’s could not be fired without the same due process as every other teacher in the system.

At the same time I recall when Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City schools, returned from a trip to Chicago. He learned there that the Chicago school system resolved their teacher displacement problem from school closings by firing excessed teachers who could not find a new teaching position within twelve months. “For years, Chancellor Joel Klein has trumpeted Chicago’s method of laying off teachers, which gives out-of-work teachers a year to remain on salary and find a new job in the schools. Klein’s new list of demands would shrink that window to four months.” (Among City’s Contract Demands: Flexibility to Lay Off Teachers – Chalkbeat)

But in order to make such a move palatable, the teachers in the ATR had to be vilified and portrayed in the media as unemployable losers who could not find jobs and were a drain on the budget of the Department of Education and the taxpayers. And how the city officials threw themselves into that campaign! Joel Klein wrote, “We’d also be forced to keep teachers in what’s called the “Absent Teacher Reserve”pool—a bureaucratic name for those let go from downsizing or closing schools but who remain on payroll. Many of these teachers haven’t applied for new jobs despite losing their positions as long as two years ago. And many who have looked for a job can’t find a school willing to hire them despite many vacancies. Yet none of these teachers can be laid off, even during a budget crisis.” (We’re firing the wrong teachers – Joel Klein)

Steven Brill, wrote in his book “Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools”. “These were the teachers who were excessed but had not taken positions elsewhere. Some hadn’t even gone on job interviews…the prospect loomed that they would continue to be paid even if the city had to dismiss thousands of real teachers because of the budget crunch.”p. 129

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. I remember the day that Randi Weingarten, then president of the UFT, put out a call to the district representatives to counter such arguments by bringing a group of ATRs to a press conference. I went to Evander Childs HS and gathered a group of about a dozen from the library and brought them downtown from the Bronx to tell tales of the many online applications sent through the Department of Education website, the many resumes they sent out to principals, and the interviews they went on, all to no avail. None had ever received an unsatisfactory rating. But they were tenured, older, expensive, and they were turned down in favor of fresh new hires, many on probation. They were losing hope and to add insult to injury, they were being painted with the insulting brush of pundits like Brill. Eventually, even Brill saw the superficiality of his opinion in 2011 and reversed course. (Teaching with the enemy – The New York Times)

But the drumbeat did not stop. Even now, the New York Post writes, “Ineffective teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve are headed back into the classroom.”And the New York Daily News warns “The mayor must hold firm [against forcing principals to hire ATRs]. Otherwise, he would dump teachers of poor quality on unlucky students and schools (Expel these teachers – NY Daily News)

So they insist that the 2/3 of the ATR pool who have never been accused of wrongdoing or had unsatisfactory performances be characterized as “poor quality”and “ineffective”and worthy of firing. The truth is that the Department of Education has never made a secret of its desire to fire the ATRs. It’s been raised in every contract negotiation. But the union has up to now provided protection for this group because they are valuable teachers and members whose predicament was created entirely by the Department of Education. As a 31 year veteran teacher from Kennedy High School, a school not slated for closing for many years as other Bronx high schools met their demise, I often thought “There but for the grace of God go I”.

The UFT not only saw that displaced teachers were not fired, we reached agreement with the Department of Education that they could only be moved once a semester. This gave them stability for at least half the school year. It was humane. Many got regular assignments saving the city money on hiring long term substitute teachers for teachers on leaves for child care or health issues. (Although the city and the press still just multiply the number of ATR’s by their salaries and calculate that as a drain on the city’s resources without deducting the savings). ATRs were also serving as per diem substitutes for daily absentee teachers. Another savings. A survey we were asked to do by the union in 2009 showed that hundreds of ATRs were serving in this capacity—not sitting around idly doing nothing and collecting salaries.

Recently, this all changed for the ATR pool. They are now shuffled around week to week, from school to school. They are observed teaching students they do not know while covering classes out of license. It is not only a recipe for wasting talent if there ever was one but a sure path to thinning the ATR pool. “Until recently, the city allowed ATR teachers to remain at a posting for a full school term, during which the school principal could decide whether to hire them. That changed with the weekly reassignments, which went into effect in October as part of a deal with the United Federation of Teachers to avert layoffs.” (City’s Unwanted Teachers Drift Through a Life in Limbo – DNA Info)

This brings us to the new contract and it’s agreement regarding this maligned and vulnerable group of teachers.

The city has been looking for a way to fire this teachers since before Klein’s Chicago jaunt. The Memorandum of Agreement now under consideration makes this much easier. It streamlines the process for ridding the city of the ATRs. It proposes a separate and unequal disciplinary system that will end the career of an ATR in a way that cannot happen to an appointed teacher.

Memorandum of Agreement:

If a principal removes an ATR from an assignment to a vacancy in his/her license area because of problematic behavior as described below and the ATR is provided with a signed writing by a supervisor describing the problematic behavior, this writing can be introduced at an expedited §3020-a hearing for ATRs who have completed their probationary periods

            The term “problematic behavior”is unacceptably vague. What is it? It can’t rise to the level of a violation of Chancellor’s regulations because that has always allowed for removal. In instances of language belittling or causing emotional distress, corporal punishment, misappropriation of funds, excessive absence and/or lateness or any other clearly defined violations under the Chancellor’s regulations, teachers could be removed and charged. Two years of unsatisfactory ratings could lead to removal and charges.

So “problematic behavior”must fall into a category of actions beneath these violations. Let me give you four examples that I have heard from ATRs: Leaving four minutes early on a staff development day after receiving a phone call about a son’s medical emergency, scolding in front of students for not wearing a tie, dozing off in the teachers’lounge on a day when he was given no assignment or classes to cover, making a statement in the classroom that sounded like religious proselytizing. One might concede that these actions are “problematic”but they never would have led to more than a file letter in the past! Now, they can rise to the level of such severity that the career of the beleaguered ATR can be ended forever. Who will decide what’s “problematic”? The panel of arbitrators whose standard we agree is a mystery at the moment? The two consecutive principals who may have marked certain teachers for discipline possibly because they spoke up when they were given five classes in a row to teach, or reported a special ed violation, or cheating on a Regents? Or maybe they just seemed too confrontational or not compliant enough? Or maybe didn’t wear a tie! Without clearly defining “problematic”behavior, we have provided a roadmap for showing the door to ATR’s.

I have read that the ATR’s cannot “automatically”be fired. They would feel more secure without the modifier. The grounds for their removal and ultimate firing are far different from those required of regular appointed teachers. Do we have the right to create a new and lesser category within our own family?

The speed with which an ATR can be dispatched is breathtaking. No regular appointed teacher could be pushed out the door with such haste. There is due process and then there is what the MOA calls the“exclusive”due process for ATRs. The union should stand behind one 3020a process for all its teachers.


If, within a school year or consecutively across school years, an ATR has been removed from a temporary provisional assignment to a vacancy in his/her license area by two different principals because of asserted problematic behavior, a neutral arbitrator from a panel of arbitrators jointly selected for this purpose (the panel presently consisting of Martin F. Scheinman, Howard Edelman and Mark Grossman) shall convene a 3020-a hearing as soon as possible Based on the written documentation described above and such other documentary and/or witness evidence as the employer or the respondent may submit, the hearing officer shall determine whether the ATR has demonstrated a pattern of problematic behavior. For purposes of this program, problematic behavior means behavior that is inconsistent with the expectations established for professionals working in schools and a pattern of problematic behavior means two or more instances in a vacancy in the ATRs license area of problematic behavior within a school year or consecutively across school years. Hearings under this provision shall not exceed one full day absent a showing of good cause and the hearing officer shall convene a §3020-a hearing as soon as possible.

 The parties agree that in order to accomplish the purpose of establishing an expedited §3020-a process, the following shall serve as the exclusive process for §3020-a hearings for ATRs that have been charged based on a pattern of problematic behavior in accordance with this agreement.

  • The ATR shall have ten (10) school days to request a hearing upon receipt of the §3020-a charges;
  • At the same time as the ATR is charged, the Board (DOE) will notify the UFT as to where the ATR is assigned at the time charges are served;
  • The employer shall provide the Respondent all evidence to be used in the hearing no more than five (5) school days after the employer receives the Respondentrequest for a hearing;
  • Within five (5) school days of receipt of the employerevidence, the Respondent shall provide the employer with any evidence the Respondent knows at that time will be used in the hearing;
  • The hearing shall be scheduled within five to ten (5-10) school days after the exchange of evidence is complete;
  • The hearing time shall be allocated evenly between the parties, with time used for opening statements, closing statements and cross-examination allocated to party doing the opening statement, closing statement or cross-examination and with time for breaks allocated to the party requesting the break;
  • The hearing officer shall issue a decision within 15 days of the hearing date.

For the purposes of charges based upon a pattern of problematic behavior under this section only, if the DOE proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the ATR has demonstrated a pattern of problematic behavior the hearing officer shall impose a penalty under the just cause standard up to and including discharge

            I know many ATRs because the displacement of veteran high school teachers has been so great. It is a problem of the Department of Education’s own making. From the dumping of these teachers into a special pool, to the changing of their assignments every semester, to their bouncing from school to school every week, to the special and unique expedited 3020a hearing that adheres to a timetable that no other teacher must be suffer, these life-long teachers have been beaten down.

They have been mandated to apply for jobs online, mandated to attend interviews, and mandated to accept assignments for years. But many are never offered jobs because principals prefer to hire probationary teachers that can be fired at will. I served on many hiring committees for new schools every June. They were looking to staff their entire schools. There was a constant parade of new, uncertified teaching fellows getting hired to the exclusion of the veterans who interviewed.

The unsettling feeling I have now is that the worst fears that the ATRs shared with me all of those years have been realized.



24 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 20, 2014 pm31 1:45 pm 1:45 pm

    Great article. Why is the union allowing this? Mulgrew is agreeing to the stereotype of ATRs by doing this. Its an unbelievable betrayal of trust by our union. My hope is this will be voted down.

  2. Zulma, retired NYC math teacher, former chapter leader permalink
    May 20, 2014 pm31 9:21 pm 9:21 pm

    I’m finding it so disheartening to know that our union would negotiate a contract where protection for the ATRs are relatively nil. I tried to explain this “special 3020a” to several of my colleagues where no money (raise) should be tied to the possible termination of one of our union brothers or sisters.

    Thank you Lynne for your post. I will share it with others.

  3. Unity screws the rank and file permalink
    May 20, 2014 pm31 10:11 pm 10:11 pm

    From a recently retired chapter leader with 33 years in, thank you for taking a stand by writing this excellent statement. We have seen the enormous changes over the years, as the Board of Education morphed into some wild, crazy beast, a caricature of it’s former self. Some of the principals now in charge would not have found adminstrative positions open to them even 20 years ago.

    Let’s hope that this contract is voted down. Along with that, that the rank and file finally see what the union has made itself into and vote them out also.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    May 20, 2014 pm31 10:51 pm 10:51 pm

    Finally! Someone speaks out for us. This is my second year as an ATR and the first year very nearly killed me. It was so devastating, so demeaning and most of all so very, very, very lonely. Almost daily, I was met with apathy at best, and outright disgust at the worst. Every day of my lfe – with few and far inbetween good days or schools – I was made to feel like the outsider, the “BAD” teacher, the teacher who must have done something wrong or else why would she be an ATR? I was disrespected by students, teachers and administration. But, I held on with the promise that Bloomberg would be gone soon and then there would be a chance for us to regain our rights and our place within this system. Since that time it has only been disappointment and despair. There is no white knight, the union is not taking our back, we – the teachers who through NO FAULT OF OUR OWN – are increasingly maligned and grouped together with “rubber room” teachers. The agenda is transparent, the contract a document that will be our end. All the things we feared as ATR’s are now documented, in writing and forever more the very things that wil undo us. I’m used to living in fear, in confusion; cut off from communications, union meetings, co-workers, and all the new processes. Now, however, those fears are realized. Before they were rumours, innuendo and had no substantiation – there was nothing in the contract that said we could be victim to someone’s bad mood. And, now there is. We are done for. Those jobs they are going to place us in (no forced placements, ha!) are the jobs that are left empty for a reason. Our fate is now in the hands of principals and administrators who don’t know us, many don’t like us, though they will use the free labor until the end of the year. There is no incentive for them to hire us. We will not be paid for indefinitely. Why should they hire me next year when they can hire two of me instead?

    I’m disappointed, disillusioned and defeated. How long can you survive being less than human?

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 21, 2014 pm31 8:44 pm 8:44 pm

      What keeps me going is pure spite. I hate the DOE and the UFT. I’ll never quit or retire. I have 15 Who’s Who teaching awards, three teacher of the year awards and I love teaching. I’m treated like garbage in almost every school I go. This contract will be the coup de grace for many, don’t let it be for you. Be strong and pray.

  5. Brett Green permalink
    May 21, 2014 am31 10:15 am 10:15 am

    SAD BUT TRUE!!!!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    May 21, 2014 pm31 8:38 pm 8:38 pm

    I believe it’s illegal to separate, stigmatize, and target a group of civil service workers who are (95%) over 40 and overwhelmingly minority. This is federal lawsuit in the making against the city and perhaps the UFT leadership that agreed to this. Now I hear Mulgrew placated Farina who wanted all ATRs terminated! This is our union president?

    Thank you for a wonderful article.

  7. May 22, 2014 am31 4:08 am 4:08 am

    Re: ATRs
    Why was it necessary to put into place another plan dealing with ATRs when Team Weingarten has already negotiated Article 18? Please read Article 18 of the expired teachers contract to tell us what was wrong with it ,if any?



    The Board and the Union recognize the need to maintain both staff stability and an equitable balance of experienced and inexperienced teachers in the schools. To meet this need, and to provide opportunities within this framework for teachers to transfer from one school to another, the Board and the Union agree that transfers shall be based upon the following principles:

    A. General Transfers Effective school year 2005-2006, principals will advertise all vacancies. 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. Vacancies are defined as positions to which no teacher has been appointed, except where a nonappointed teacher is filling in for an appointed teacher on leave. Vacancies will be posted as early as April 15 of each year and will continue being posted throughout the spring and summer. Candidates (teachers wishing to transfer and excessed teachers) will apply to specifically posted vacancies and will be considered, for example, through job fairs and/or individual application to the school. 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. Selections for candidates may be made at any time; however, transfers after August 7th require the release of the teacher’s current principal. Teachers who have repeatedly been unsuccessful in obtaining transfers or obtaining regular teaching positions after being excessed, will, upon request, receive individualized assistance from the Division of Human Resources and/or the Peer Intervention Program on how to maximize their chances of success in being selected for a transfer

    B. Hardship Transfers In addition to the vacancies available for transfer pursuant to Section A of this Article, transfers on grounds of hardship shall be allowed in accordance with the following: Transfers of teachers after three years of service on regular appointment may be made on grounds of hardship on the basis of the circumstances of each particular case, except that travel time by public transportation of more than one hour and thirty minutes each way between a teacher’s home (or City line in the case of a teacher residing outside the City) and school shall be deemed to constitute a “hardship” entitling the applicant to a transfer to a school to be designated by the Division of Human Resources which shall be within one hour and thirty minutes travel time by public transportation from the teacher’s home, or City line in the case of a teacher residing outside the City

    C. Voluntary Teacher Exchange The Chancellor shall issue a memorandum promoting the exchange of new ideas and methodology and encouraging teachers to share their special skills with students and colleagues in other schools. To facilitate achievement of this goal, the Board and the Union agree to allow teachers to exchange positions for a one year period provided that the principals of both schools agree to the exchange. The exchange may be renewed for an additional one year period. For all purposes other than payroll distribution, the teachers will remain on the organizations of their home schools

    D. Staffing New or Redesigned Schools9 The following applies to staffing of new or redesigned schools (“Schools”) 1. A Personnel Committee shall be established, consisting of two Union representatives designated by the UFT President, two representatives designated by the community superintendent for community school district schools or by the Chancellor for schools/programs under his/her jurisdiction, a Principal/or Project Director, and where appropriate a School Planning Committee Representative and a parent

    2. For its first year of operation the School’s staff shall be selected by the Personnel Committee which should, to the extent possible, make its decisions in a consensual manner. In the first year of staffing a new school, the UFT Personnel Committee members shall be school-based staff designated from a school other than the impacted school or another school currently in the process of being phased out. The Union will make its best effort to designate representatives from comparable schools who share the instructional vision and mission of the new school, and who will seek to ensure that first year hiring supports the vision and mission identified in the approved new school application. In the second and subsequent years, the Union shall designate representatives from the new school to serve on its Personnel Committee

    3. If another school(s) is impacted (i.e., closed or phased out), staff from the impacted school(s) will be guaranteed the right to apply and be considered for positions in the School. If sufficient numbers of displaced staff apply, at least fifty percent of the School’s pedagogical positions shall be selected from among the appropriately licensed most senior applicants from the impacted school(s), who meet the School’s qualifications. The Board will continue to hire pursuant to this provision of the Agreement until the impacted school is closed

    4. Any remaining vacancies will be filled by the Personnel Committee from among transferees, excessees, and/or new hires. In performing its responsibilities, the Personnel Committee shall adhere to all relevant legal and contractual requirements including the hiring of personnel holding the appropriate credentials

    5. In the event the Union is unable to secure the participation of members on the Personnel Committee, the Union will consult with the Board to explore other alternatives. However the Union retains the sole right to designate the two UFT representatives on the Personnel Committee

    Source URL:

    • May 22, 2014 am31 8:29 am 8:29 am


      Article 18 was gutted by ‘team Weingarten’ in 2005. Open your 2000 contract, and look at that version of Article 18.

      It’s time those responsible actually stood up and took responsibility. The union must be judged by how it protects our most vulnerable members.

      • Zulma, retired NYC math teacher, former chapter leader permalink
        May 22, 2014 pm31 2:23 pm 2:23 pm

        Thank you jd2718 for clarifying this because I wasn’t sure what he was referring to in his post. We definitely don’t need more confusion with respect to the contract and the ATRs.

      • May 24, 2014 am31 9:12 am 9:12 am

        The contract will be ratified due in part to the improved evaluation system which covered a substantial number of classroom teachers. In addition, the readymade curriculum material will be a lifesaver for the new teachers. Well, the modified 3020a for ATRs has so far been the weakest link of the contract in that a specific disciplinary procedure has been created for the excessed teachers. Article 18 was in need of a strong enforcement mechanism to prevent Tweed and City Hall from undermining effort by school principals not to hire ATRs instead our negotiators blundered.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 22, 2014 am31 8:54 am 8:54 am

      Because it was all BS and everyone involved – DOE, UFT and ATR’s – knew it. The job fairs were a joke – uninvolved, not interested principals and officials standing around accepting resumes because they HAD to. Eventually these stopped even being offered. Same with mandated interviews – very few were actually hired on those interviews and some of those vacancies remained open for the entire year. Apparently, there was not ONE person suitable for those jobs. In some schools (more than a few) students were taught by the weekly rotating teachers. Some of them in license, some not. Eventually that gave way to provisional positions – ATR’s filled in with the hope of a permanent position if both parties agreed (ATR and Principal). More often than not, only one party agreed – guess which one – and the ATR was kicked back to the pool in spite of accolades, a job well done, good stats and successful pass rates. Now, this very process has been given the green light by the new contact. Get sent back twice, don’t let the door hit you in the ass. Everything was a sham. Majority of ATR’s were used as babysitters – only infrequently did we get lesson plans or even a class in license. People who filled in for longer assignments were never called back. Every school I’ve been to in 2 years is overloaded with young teachers – less than 10 years experience an most with 5 or less. The budget does not allow us to be hired and the new contract is suppose to open things up for us by not having us on the school budget. Look to the example above. Free labor for a year and now we don’t even have a say in the matter if we want to stay – it has been 100% given over to the “principal’s discretion.” What used to be a travesty with no legalese behind it is now going to be our sanctioned and approved by all (except us) dismissal.

      • fsmeduwp permalink
        May 24, 2014 am31 9:10 am 9:10 am

        Well, the modified 3020a for ATRs has so far been the weakest link of the contract in that a specific disciplinary procedure has been created for the excessed teachers. Article 18 was in need of a strong enforcement mechanism to prevent Tweed and City Hall from undermining effort by school principals not to hire ATRs instead our negotiators blundered. We would have been better off with Article 18 as in the expired 2007-2009 contract.

  8. Anne permalink
    May 22, 2014 am31 6:43 am 6:43 am

    I suspect that there will be PERB complaints, State lawsuits, and Federal lawsuits if this contract passes.

  9. fportelos permalink
    May 24, 2014 pm31 12:16 pm 12:16 pm

    Even before I became an ATR, I was a proponent of the experienced group. Now that I am, even more.

    ATRs email a blank email to atrchapter+ to join email group. Over 1,600 ATRs out there.

  10. Mark permalink
    May 30, 2014 am31 11:45 am 11:45 am

    Thank you for elucidating this. Many of these people, I suspect, made the mistake of hitching their wagon to an incompetent principal. I left two schools that I knew were going to fail (in one the principal was removed, the second school, Aspire Preparatory in the Bronx, received an F and was closed) and therefore know how close I cam to this fate myself.

  11. fportelos permalink
    June 8, 2014 am30 9:48 am 9:48 am

    ATRs should click this link and add their bio. We will be publishing it with pictures. Who are the ATRs?

  12. July 30, 2014 am31 5:21 am 5:21 am

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout
    of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  13. October 11, 2015 am31 5:38 am 5:38 am

    Re Today’s ATRs

    The process of evaluating ATRs essentially allows the NYC DOE Human Resources to remove them from City Payrolls as soon as possible once they were excessed by their schools principals by means of either disciplinary letters or bogus observation reports or both in a few years.

    For, the ATRs have to follow the policies and practices of the schools in which they are assigned to in addition to the directions from the ATRs supervisors coming to observe them. ATRs don’t have any faculty or department meeting where curriculum, Chancellors Regulations and school manuals are discussed among others and yet school-assigned teachers routinely get them.

    Please note the ATRs supervisors carry the full Human Resources Record of the teachers they are observing and can write letter-to -file about anything regarding the ATRs in a temporally assigned school building which already has its own principal and supervisors.

    Virtually the supervisors conducting the evaluations only visit the ATRs so that the ATRS can be told which class in the assigned building that they have to teach so that they could be observed never mind what the students were learning with their regular teacher/s. Regular teachers are at times given one period or two off so that their classes are taught by ATRs to allow the ATR’s supervisors to write observation reports. By contrast, per diem or substitutes teachers are rated by the principals of the schools they taught at the end of the school year without being asked to teach ‘this class’ and are provided lessons by the school administration or worksheets left by the absentee teacher for purpose of continuity of instruction.

    ATRs could not possibly attend the faculty conferences and monthly department meetings of all the schools in which they are assigned to serve. The rating officers who sign their rating sheets never visit them except in a few cases. So due to an artificial environment created by double standards, instructions from ATRs supervisors without a school and school-based supervisors, spurious lesson observations, fake log of assistance and mean disciplinary letters for file:ATRs are turned into recluses ready to be sacked with the blessings of our silence/inaction.



    • mike bloomberg permalink
      October 20, 2015 pm31 1:52 pm 1:52 pm

      The way the corrupt DOE handles the observations of ATRs is a tragedy. The DOE is the most dysfunctional organization in government. The treatment of ATR teachers by observing them in schools they are not familiar with, students they are not familiar with, and, subjects they are not familiar with!!! The gaul or balls of the corrupt DOE (still stenches from the Bloomberg days) to evaluate ATR teachers like this is a sin. Whomever is running the operation of observing these teachers in these harsh conditions should be displayed in public so the public can ridicule them. These human beings, if you want to call them that, are a crying shame and a poor excuse for the human race. One can only hope that karma gets these individuals who some how want to destroy the livelihoods of so many hard working people of NYC. This type of in humane treatment of employees is the way mike bloomberg treats people…just ask anyone who works at Bloomberg LLP…or anyone who worked at the DOE for the past 12 years before diblasio. Bloomberg is the devil in disguise trying to deceive people that he actually cares for people but we all know he is full of shit.

      • planet of the apes permalink
        October 26, 2015 pm31 2:09 pm 2:09 pm

        We are living out a movie starring charlton heston called planed of the apes. The DOE and UFT are the apes and the rest of us are the charleton hestons freaking out how apes have taken over the planet

  14. bloomberg and klein still live here permalink
    December 17, 2015 pm31 2:21 pm 2:21 pm

    Today, the DOE still continues to use the atr situation and rotate educators including teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, reading teachers, librarians and school aids. Why would the DOE continue to use the devilish practices of the bloomberg administration?? CLearly, the ATR pool was created by bloomberg and klein out of a devilish, hatred way that klein and bloomberg clearly dictate. So why keep this insane system?? Most of the educators in the pool are some of the top educators nyc has to offer! i have seen atr teachers who are former lawyers, engineers, business people and more but now they find themselves in the atr pool for no fault of their own except for the fact that klein and bloomberg are just evil and closed just about every comprehensive large school in the nyc. So, again, the question for the doe is why, why keep this insane, dastardly system of moving educators from school to school and not being able to help kids….


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