I refuse to spend money on newspapers that bash teachers, so I seldom buy the Daily News. I do read it from time to time, as I did today while at my parents’ house. (They are excellent grandparents, so I forgive their purchase. Anyway, Mom likes coupons.)
As I was flipping, I spotted an article on the Absent Teacher Reserves . According to the piece, the Department of Ed hired 5,400 new teachers this year, despite the fact that about 1,400 veteran teachers are without permanent assignments, and over two hundred new hires have no placements.
It’s very unusual for me to agree with anything Randi Weingarten says; it’s a pleasant surprise to see her speaking out at all, even though she wasn’t nearly as forceful or angry as she should be. But she is right that in a year when money is tight and budgets were cut, it’s ridiculous that so many new people would be hired. There are qualified, experienced people waiting for positions.
The article made reference to a study by The New Teacher Project that found that more than 100 teachers in the pool did not look for jobs. I assume, then, that 1,300 people DID look for jobs. No one can convince me that those 1,300 people are not qualified. Interestingly, the New Teacher Project was founded by Michelle Rhee before she went to DC to turn that system on its ear like BloomKlein on steroids with a suspicious beef against experienced teachers. The fact that The New Teacher Project did this study makes me wonder if they want to further the idea that those of us who have years of experience, and came in through traditional means, are part of the problem. Are they sharing any of their expertise in "the recruitment, selection, cultivation, preparation and placement of alternate route and traditionally certified teachers" with teachers in the ATR?
Frankly, if I saw 1,300 people looking fruitlessly for jobs, I might not bother to look myself. Getting jobs for these teachers should have been a priority before anyone else was hired.
It’s often implied in the media that teachers in the ATR deserve to be there. And this is where I get frustrated with people who like to complain about tenure. I don’t think that they realize that principals have it in their power to get rid of bad teachers. The process is pretty cumbersome, granted, but if someone is that ineffective and unfit to be in the classroom, there would be no shortage of documentation.
So where is the documentation supporting the placement of these 1,400 teachers in the ATR pool?