Thursday, July 27, 2017


UFT president Michael Mulgrew has finally released a statement responding to the press demonizing Absent Teacher Reserves, teachers who have no regular class through no fault of their own. We have printed the entire statement below but would like people to compare Mulgrew's defense of the ATRs with what some of what has been written by Chaz and NYC Educator. You can also examine what we put out here at ICE to support the ATRs.

I am more than a little biased but I think I see some real passion in what we bloggers are saying and I don't get that sense in reading what the UFT President says.

Excerpt from NYC Educator:

It occurs to me, but not the lawyer, that vindictive principals would certainly take advantage if there were a time limit to the ATR. I can name supervisors who would be much happier were I not around. Of course they're entitled to feel that way, and it doesn't mean they'd necessarily act on it, but we all know supervisors who would place inconvenient people up on charges whether or not they merited them.

While I have not been accused of being a bad teacher, I can imagine a lot of reasons principals would refrain from hiring me. There's this blog, for one, There's the fact that my presence can be inconvenient on other levels too, as an activist and chapter leader. I can't really blame them if I'm not on their A-list. I also can't blame a whole lot of ATR teachers for not being in aggressive pursuit of jobs they're hardly likely to win.

But I certainly blame Campbell Brown's writers for suggesting that I or my ATR brothers and sisters are a bunch of lemons. That's a blatant stereotype, and I'm not at all sure why stereotyping teachers, or anyone, is still socially acceptable.

Now Chaz responds to a Bronx principal who commented on an ATR posting:

This Principal, like far too many principals in the New York City Public School System, drink the DOE kool-aid that ATR are "bad" or "unwanted"  teachers and these principals have shown poor judgement in their hiring practices that see a rising school graduation rate while few of their graduates achieve success in college or career, due to their lack of academic proficiency. In other words, they engage in academic fraud.

To Bronx Principal keep collecting your bonus while screwing the students with inexperienced teachers and dumping the maximum amount of students in your classrooms. A real recipe for continued academic failure.  Have a nice day because your students aren't. 

And finally Mr. Mulgrew's statement:

For immediate release

The UFT reached agreement on June 1 with the Department of Education on a voluntary severance package for UFT members who are in the Absent Teacher Reserve for at least one school year. The agreement sparked several newspaper editorials attacking the ATRs.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement in response:
Our recent ATR agreement generated its share of teacher-bashing editorials. Whether the media will print any of our rebuttals is an open question, but what is not up for debate is the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected.

Teachers whose schools have been closed or downsized will fill vacant classrooms in their chosen subjects this fall. Members in the ATR pool will also continue to play a valuable role in schools by filling in for teachers who are sick or on another form of sick leave.

The real problem facing New York City schools is the thousands of teachers in good standing who walk out the door every year for other systems or other professions because of large classes, lack of supplies and managers who do not support their efforts to help children learn.

Perhaps one of the editorial writers will accept my offer and join me on one of my school visits. Facts and time spent in the city's public schools would make for more accurate editorials.

ATRs should be respected and thousands of teachers do leave the system. However, if the best prescription for a remedy is to have an editorial writer accompany the President on a school visit, then we are truly not a real union these days.

No offense to the President as saying something in support of ATRs is better than nothing, but I would rather have Chaz or NYC Educator representing me if I was an ATR.


Anonymous said...

Can you imagine when some of these reporters go into schools and see the chaos, cell phones, no work, students running the halls, breaking into the gyms????

Anonymous said...

Great news, Teachers Choice is $250 this year. That certainly makes up for the abuse and torture, 7 hours a day, 182 days, plus travel time, parking, traffic, tolls and gas...

ed notes online said...

Running in the halls and Breaking into gyms? reward them for working out.

Anonymous said...

I could care less about Teachers Choice. I write and get get grants every year for my students. If the UFT really wanted to celebrate something, they could start by going back to the DOE and working on getting us 2 observations like the rest of NYS. I am no "insider" but I bet this could be easily accomplished before school starts in September.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew is coping Moma Weingarten's approach to DeVos. He doesn't have a original thought in his head.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew's letter wasn't tough enough. He should have flat out said that the vast majority of ATR's are experienced, certified and qualified to do their jobs, but budgets do not allow for them to be hired on a full time basis. None of those writers would dare set foot in one of the worst schools in the city, they know what they're writing is bull and they won't risk their safety setting foot in one of those places.

Anonymous said...

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