SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Jia Lee and The Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR's)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jia Lee and The Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR's)

It's funny how the mind works. People hear or believe what they want to even when clear cut
empirical evidence tells us otherwise. Logic goes out the window.

For too long all we have been hearing during this UFT election season;

"Jia knows nothing about ATR's"

"Jia doesn't care about ATR's"

"Jia won't fight for ATR's"

Hogwash, hogwash, and triple hogwash.

They great unwashed masses of ignorance are enjoying pointing to this Facebook post by Jia a few weeks ago;
Jia came to the right place. As any qualified leader would do, she decided to seek out the people for information rather than telling those what they want to hear. Jia knows what is going on with ATR (LISTEN TO JIA HERE). But is it wrong with wanting to continually grow your knowledge of any subject. To hear different perspectives and idea? Of course not.

 But for those who are still having difficulty understanding Jia, here we go again.

Jia wanted to get thoughts on an ATR that had never met their field supervisor and had received an email. Being someone who does not fly off the handle Jia did as anyone would and do their due diligence, much as any qualified leader would. 

What are getting some others knickers all knotted up is this line from that FB post;

"Is this happening to anyone else" 

THIS means referring to said unfamiliar supervisor emailing and observing aforementioned teacher.

But those with just the linear ability of thought can't or just won't can't see it that way. Some are just so infatuated with their thought process they just need to find any thing, such as the tiniest little tree branch to save them from drowning in their own misthoughts. 

Jia knows damn well what is happening to the ATR's. She sees it and I agree with her why Mulgrew has allowed it (LISTEN TO JIA HERE). Our very own union wants to be rid of the ATR problem and the only way they feel they can do it and still smell like a rose is to force ATR's to quit or retire. 

But (LISTEN TO JIA HERE) as sh explains that there is just more (Pardon the pun!) than just stability for the teachers to be in a permanent position. She it's the nail on the head. It is more than just knowing where you are going to teach, more than being fairly observed. It's the sense of being part of something. The sense of being able to start something and seeing it through. A sense of belonging.

Why is so important to be in one school. Jia (LISTEN TO JIA HERE!) hits the nail on the head by comparing what is going on with ATR's and the "Lean Production Model," and/or Efficiency. This is what we need to here. Not someone who claims they can fix the problem without knowing the root of the problem. But rather someone who know the root of the problem, knows where it emanates from, someone who understands the thinking behind it and knows how to best attack it. That is leadership. That is non-linear thought. More importantly, that is the ability to learn, and put into practice, new information.

How can anyone say they promise to fix the ATR issue if they don't understand the antecedent reasons and illogic that has caused issue? Isn't that illogical? 

Too many believe that to fix the ATR problem one must be just reactive. But it can't work that way. Again, this is just linear thinking. To fix the ATR problem one must be proactive and reactive. To know when to use a hammer and when to use the chisel. Each are effective, but a true sign of leadership is to know when  and how to use these tools.

Jia has also taken slack of being a one issue, The Opt-Out movement, leader. This accusation was particularly vociferous when Jia was featured in the New York Post earlier this week. But LISTEN  TO JIA HERE and hear how she again understands what should be the ultimate genesis of the ATR problem.

Jia focuses on the testing because it is the;

"tool being used to perpetuate cultures of competition based on a metric that is completely flawed.."

"...we're using it on a bell curve that a bottom that you have to cut off... you can label those teacher and label those teachers and say that they are bad"

That bottom is the ATR's. I should not be considered, nor any other teacher be considered, as some random obfuscated number or statistic or some hacks bell curve.

The ATR issue cannot be solved without weeding out the bad ideas behind it as well as the bad people implementing it. And by bad people I do not mean those at the UFT or NYCDOE.

We are talking about those that have stolen our education system from our communities, our schools, our students, and ourselves. When we decide as educators and the rank and file that will be consistently fighting for our rights and taking our heads out of the sand and stand up for ourselves, then that will be the time the tide turns.

Empty promises and machismo is not the way to go about this. We need to be able to adapt. Able to change course at a moment's notice. We as ATR's and teachers need to not go with the flow, but be the flow.

This can never work with top down leadership. Only a leadership that is one of the cogs in the wheel.


Anonymous said...


Pete Zucker said...

Thanks. But credit should go to Jia.

Chris said...

You people are so immature. Solidarity runs a true campaign. All you do is bicker!

Anonymous said...

I think that this is about finding the root of the problem and making the changes necessary to give all teachers (and that includes ATR's) the tools and respect to be a contributor to our youth's education.

I applaud Jia for looking to solve the complexity of a problem and not just pandering to a crowd.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points. Jia Lee is about real solutions to real problems, not pandering. How easy it is to scream and yell about the ATR issue but offer few it any real solutions. If Jia were ever to be UFT president she would find a recalcitrant DOE on the ATR issue, analogous to the congress refusal to allow Obama to close Guantanomo. But Jia would be there slinging and cajoling and bargaining, the various sides of the coin necessary to actually win something.