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Thursday, August 2, 2012

No Interviews for ATR Teachers at Fort Hamilton H.S.

Alexander Hamilton was one of this country's earliest financial geniuses.  Jo Ann Chester, the Principal of Fort Hamilton High School, which is named after old Alex, also seems to have a way with dollars and cents.  She has been accused of a complex scheme of underpaying more than a dozen teachers at her school. 

Jo Ann Chester (second from left)  accepts a check
 for $250,000 from State Senator Marty Golden (L).  
If that's not dastardly enough, Ms. Chester also figured out a way to circumvent the DOE's requirement that teachers from the ATR should be interviewed for any open positions. Gotham Schools reports: 
A union source said Chester had not interviewed a single member of the Absent Teacher Reserve for vacant positions, even after the city began requiring schools to interview any teacher in the pool who put in an application for an open position. 

By making it appear that full-time teachers were assigned to every class, the school avoided being assigned members of the ATR pool in the last year, after the city began cycling them weekly into schools with vacancies. 

The city wants principals to hire ATRs whenever possible, because their salaries are already on the city payroll. But schools that hire the teachers, who lost their positions when their schools shrunk or closed, must foot the bill for their salaries. It is less expensive for principals to pick up brand-new teachers whenever possible.

Click here for the full story. 


  1. This is a joke. EVERY principal is doing the same exact thing! No one wants to hire ATRs cause they cost too much and are tenured. The principals want cheap, untenured newbies!

  2. I agree with Anon and unless the DOE punishes the principals for circumventing the rules, nothing will change.

  3. Chaz,

    I love you, but you're living in fantasy land. The DOE will never punish principals under this mayor. we will be atrs for the foreseeable future and that is fine with me.

  4. TeachmyclassMrMayorAugust 2, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Chaz, I once again, would not hold my breath waiting for those punishments

  5. The Mayor and Chancellor ask for "change." They do not want continuity. They do not want those of us who were of the "Board of Education." They want to redefine the teaching profession as an entry level, temporary stepping stone position. They do not want anyone who might work long enough to qualify for a pension. In fact, they are pressing for lesser and lesser attractive pension incentives, in the name of finance, but in line with a philosophy of ending the culture of education in New York City. Out with the old dogs, in with the young. It is easier to destroy a culture and a labor union when nobody knows the history.

  6. How many atrs will september have

  7. I also have applied positions at schools that were posted and not once did I get a chance to interview. I say it is their loss not mine.

    1. I was an ATR without tenure, who got laid off in June from 2 bogus unsatisfactory observations - one from a "Field Supervisor"(an excessed AP himself); another from an AP in a failing school. Anyone else out there in this situation? I can only cringe to consider what their antics might be to get rid of tenured ATRs. This is my first time on this blog - is here anything in the archives about possible age discrimination lawsuits? - Anon

  8. Ft Hamilton has an ATR now! Me! They don't have any open positions in my license area, but so far everyone has treated me nicely there, including Ms. Chester. I'll keep you posted!