We education bloggers often feel the frustration of writing about what is really going on in the schools but not hearing the side of the teachers given any consideration by the mainstream media. We have to be given some of the credit for today's objective Chalkbeat article by Christina Veiga that featured not one or two but three Absent Teacher Reserves who come off really positively.
EdNotes, NYC Educator, Chaz and ICE have been highly critical of the one sided pieces that have been done by the press viciously attacking the ATRs without really hearing much from real life ATRs. Chalkbeat at least told the ATR side in detail in today's piece although they did have the usual anti-ATR stuff in there so we certainly could not call this a puff piece.
Since our post came out last weekend rating the press reports on ATRs, both Selim Algar from the Post and Chalkbeat's Christina Veiga emailed me. Selim and I have a dialogue going and Chalkbeat today wrote their article on the three ATRs. We salute Kathy Perez (a friend from MORE for a long time), Deborah Williams, and Leonard Robinson for going on the record. I know that Ms.Veiga talked to at least one other ATR because I put her in touch with my colleague Bob Klugman, a 31 year veteran math teacher who previously worked for NASA.
Here is some of what Kathy said from the article:
“When I go to work now, I don’t have a name. My name is ‘ATR,’” she said. “They talk about you like you’re furniture. I’ve heard conversations where I’m sitting there and they say, ‘Well, I’ve got the ATR here.’
“It’s like, ‘I’ve been in your building for a month. You can use my name.’”
We will keep doing our work of telling the truth about New York City schools and hopefully the media will do their job of doing some further objective education reporting.