This line on the DOE policy changes concerns me:
"...if an ATR is assigned to a school and rated Effective or Highly Effective by the school administration, absent extraordinary circumstances, the ATR will become a permanent member of the school community."
It sounds good on the surface. However, it seems to me this sentence will be used by some principals who feel control is more important than anything to rate teachers forced on them Developing or Ineffective to make sure they do not get stuck with ATRs they might not want, particularly veterans who will cost them more on their budgets. Maybe I am just too cynical.
What do you you think of the latest DOE "policy changes"?
Yesterday, I wrote about the open market system and senior teachers. The bottom line is seasoned teachers cost too much on school budgets. That must stop. The answer to all of this is to fight to take back the givebacks from 2005. Incremental changes will not succeed.
Mulgrew's email in its entirety is below.
I am writing to you to let you know that the DOE has made changes to the way it will place members of the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool in schools. These changes reflect the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected. While the DOE and the UFT have long sought to reduce the size of the ATR pool, we are pleased that the DOE is now looking to do this by matching educators and schools rather than through time limits and attacks.
These changes are policy changes — not contractual changes. First, the DOE has informed us of their commitment to fill positions that remain vacant on Oct. 15, 2017, with educators from the ATR pool. This is in contrast to the hands-off approach that the DOE has taken with principals in the past. As you know, this spring’s ATR agreement continues the agreement from the Memorandum of Agreement in 2014 that allows educators of the ATR pool to be assigned to schools in their borough. As was the case from 2014-16, ATRs can be assigned to a school in their borough with a vacancy in their license area. This has not changed.
Second, if an ATR is assigned to a school and rated Effective or Highly Effective by the school administration, absent extraordinary circumstances, the ATR will become a permanent member of the school community. This just makes sense. If a principal rates a teacher Effective or Highly Effective, and the match between the member and the school is appropriate, that principal should not send that teacher back to the ATR pool because of budget concerns or for other reasons.
The DOE is changing its own policy, but, of course, it cannot change or violate any of the terms of our contracts. As always, with your help, we will make sure that the DOE follows all contractual rules.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your UFT borough office. Enjoy the rest of your summer.