At last month's PEP meeting, where I spoke to the Panel and Chancellor Carmen Farina, a reporter from the Epoch Times approached me. He talked to Francesco Portelos and me after the meeting.
I have attached his story which was recently in Epoch Times. The tone of the overall piece is fine and I can't complain about how I am portrayed. The only line attributed to me that is inaccurate is where the reporter paraphrases me talking about the dozens who were excessed from Jamaica and then writing that only one found a permanent job. I was talking about the final eight who were left in the last year. Of the final eight teachers at Jamaica, one has found a permanent position, while three retired, three are now in leave replacement jobs and one is rotating.
There was some criticism of ATRs in the Epoch Times article. We didn't get a chance to respond so I will do that here.
In defense of my fellow ATRs, rotating to different schools and covering classes can be very depressing. I can definitely understand why a teacher who may be a star feels the need to change his/her mindset to survive as an ATR. Getting attached to kids and a school might not necessarily lead to an ATR obtaining a position and if someone is in a good school, it is quite disheartening when one has to move on after a few weeks. It is very easy to become jaded and to say to oneself, "Let me just do the minimum necessary to survive in this system where I am thought of as an inferior teacher by my employer; I'll save the bulk of my energy for other parts of my life."
In reality, finding a regular job is often a matter of just being at the right place at the right time when there is an opening.