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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lie of the Week Award #1

The Lie of the Week Award is proudly awarded to our "colleagues" of the Educators4Excellence group.  They commit their crime of misinformation in their recently released paper, KEEPING OUR BEST TEACHERS: AN ALTERNATIVE TO SENIORITY-BASED LAYOFFS.

The E-4-E people recommend that members of the Absent Teacher Reserve be among the first to be laid off, because being a member of this group is a "clear indicator" of deficient "teacher performance and student achievement."

Sorry, E-4-E, but it just isn't so.  A teacher can become an ATR in one of two ways:

     a) A school downsizes and must eliminate some staff.   The principal then excesses teachers with the least seniority within a particular license area.  That's how I became an ATR; my school needed to eliminate some staff, and I had the least seniority among the teachers (just two of them) who were working under a Reading license.  I challenge the E-4-E people to find anything in my file about poor teacher performance or student achievement.

     b) A school is closed by the D.O.E., and is then reopened as a collection of smaller schools.  These smaller schools must hire some of their staff from those formerly employed in the building.  Those who are not hired by the new schools become ATRs.  Are these unlucky souls deficient in "teacher performance or student achievement"?  Maybe a few are.  Most of them, however, earn salaries that are too high to be attractive to a principal who is starting a new school with a limited budget. 

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