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Friday, April 22, 2011

Lie of the Week Award #2

The second Lie of the Week Award is hereby presented to recently referred to ATRs as "laid off" teachers and as "teachers who lost their jobs."  This is a new one to me, and the people at should be complimented for the originality of their misinformation.
     The last time New York City "laid off" any teachers was in the 1970's, back in the days of "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD."  What does happen all the time is that teachers are excessed; excessing takes place when a school needs fewer teachers in a given license area than it previously needed. Excessed teachers have not been "fired" or "laid off" because they have not done anything to warrant such action.    
     Excessed teachers may be placed by the Department of Education in any school within their district.  Until a few years ago, that is what the D.O.E. did.  Excessing was no more than a unpleasant bump in a successful teacher's career.         
     Although the D.O.E. still has the right to place excessed teachers within district schools, they have chosen in the past few years to create the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR).  Teachers who are excessed become part of the ATR and are assigned to a school temporarily (usually for a year) where they report daily and are assigned to substitute for teachers who are absent.         
     My personal opinion is that this is not the most efficient utilization of talented personnel; it is obvious, however, that ATRs have neither been fired nor laid off, and that they continue to do the work that is expected of them.

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