Meanwhile back in Jamaica High School, there is nobody covering the library as the librarian was excessed and has been assigned as an ATR to a school in Long Island City. Therefore, the library is closed most of the day; it is only open because there are no classrooms available so some teachers, including myself, are teaching there. In addition, 35 classes at Jamaica are oversize as our phasing out school is squeezed into a smaller part of the building.
I was also informed by another friend who was excessed from Jamaica that she has nothing to do at her new school. 35 oversize classes at Jamaica with no librarian and teachers are sitting around as ATRs in other schools doing nothing. How can the DOE, the union, the press and the public allow this to happen?
It gets worse. Today a former colleague, now an ATR, talked about having six working periods in a row in a long term assignment when the contractual maximum is four. I also heard a report about a teacher who quit rather than face a second year as an ATR. In my opinion, this is exactly what the DOE wants.
The agreement that the UFT and DOE signed in June that allows ATRs to be moved every week (I was told weekly rotations will start as early as October) appears to be an effort to make ATRs so fed up with the system so that more of them will resign.
To add further insult to injury, the city eased its so called hiring freeze this summer to further decrease the chances of experienced people being picked up in a different school.
The city lost on non seniority layoffs (Last in First Out) when the state refused to change the civil service law earlier this year but humiliating ATRS by sending them around to different schools every week and making them travel across the city to hiring halls that offer only a few jobs appears to be a way around the law. It looks like the DOE plans to make life so miserable that these professionals will become demoralized and leave. Please hang in there ATRs.
We must push the UFT into supporting ATRS or find another way to help. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. If the UFT tells you that you are lucky to have a job in this economy, I would acknowledge that they have a point but that all teachers, including ATRS, deserve to teach with dignity. The current system robs these pros of a chance to practice their craft in a truly meaningful way.
For those who are in the so called good schools and aren't worried, you should be. It's very easy for the DOE to move well prepared students into schools the DOE likes and flood a school on the DOE hit list with students who are less likely to succeed.