Always on the lookout for nonsense about NYC's Absent Teacher Reserve, NYCATR found this gem on ourtownny.com, a website emanating from the Upper East Side, the home of Mayor Bloomberg and Cathie Black: "It’s absurd to think that we could lay off some of our best teachers when there are 1,000 teachers in the absent teacher reserve still on the payroll."
The author of this gem is a fellow named Jared Stone. Using the name of my alter ego--brooklynATR--I replied as follows:
What you don't realize, Mr. Stone, is that many of the teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) are some of the best teachers in the city. They were excessed (not disciplined or demoted) simply because they were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was excessed because my school found it could afford one less teacher with a Reading license than it could before--and I was the Reading teacher with the least seniority. Like many ATRs, I have been unable to find a regular position. Do you think it has something to do with my salary, which is commensurate with my masters degree, thirty additional credits, and 22 years of satisfactory service? Or is it because a horde of 22-year olds fresh out of college really know how to teach better than I do?