Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Fix The ATR Issue in One Easy Step

I have been thinking about this Fair Student Funding for some time and how it affects ATR's.

On Monday, Chaz wrote a blog piece on how FSF "shortchanges students" and the DOE does diddly. As does the UFT. He used a recent Chalkbeat article that more or less explained how FSF came into being and how it works. Of course I take anything Chalkbeat blabbers about with a grain of salt but I have to admit, it was enlightening.

First, I am not buying the age discrimination angle some False Prophet dressed as a clown claims. Yeah, there might be some, but after reading the Chalkbeat article, in my opinion, proving age discrimination short of smoking gun, will be extremely, extremely difficult to prove. But alas, there are many followers that enjoy the Kool-Aid and will follow blindly until...well maybe there is no "until."

But here is a simple way to get ATR's hired that myself and The Crack Team put together.

Now as we know, an ATR making max salary (I forget what it is top of my head, but I am just going to use $100k for this post) is doing a damn fine job, likes the school and both the ATR and principal are in synch, and the principal really wants this ATR on board.

The ATR's salary will come out of the school budget. Now getting hired in the middle of the year is tough enough, what with the budget having already been spent. The following year, who knows? Will the school receive less monies? Maybe more but not enough monies?

The ATR at $100k is kind screwed. As well as the students and community of that school.

So the ATR is rotating to and fro not being able to do what they do best but rather be a glorified substitute. Just being wasted away.

But of course Tweed, in all it's glorified, illogical, infinite wisdom continues to pay this ATR $100k per year.

But the ATR can't be hired because the school lacks the funds to hire said ATR. Bear with me, I'm getting to the point.

The school gets it's monies from, care to guess? Yep, you are right. The school gets it's monies from Tweed. The same dolts that are paying the ATR $100k a year to do lunch duty, file papers, teach Latin when that ATR has a common branch license, etc... You get my point right?

Here is how we fix it. Kinda Charter School Style© (Just in case the UFT decides to use this idea.  I, and The Crack Team, can get royalty checks).

The money follows the teacher. Tweed gives the money for that ATR's salary to the specific school. Case closed. Problem solved. Everyone is happy. Tweed reduces it's self-created embarrassment of ATR's, a principal gets a darn good teacher, the students get a darn good teacher, the ATR is happy, and there will be less teachers are anti-anxiety medications.

It makes sense. Both the school's budget and the money Tweed spends on ATR's comes from well. It's like when my wife tries to bet me money. She thinks I am wrong about something, she says, "I'll bet you $100." I say, "No, that's illogical. that $100 comes from our money. You or I have access to that $100 no matter what. Bet me breakfast in bed for a month or something like that."  Can't tell you how many times I have had breakfast in bed. ;)

The Crack Team believes that this method is the best, and most adult, method to solve the inanity of this ATR issue.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This ATR Shit Needs to be Fixed!

The "Children First" slogan espoused by the NYCDOE and all it's sycophantical toadies is such a load of bullshit. Well, yeah, that's not a major revelation, now is it?

I have just spent this rotation, since December 4, co-teaching with another ATR, A 5th grade class. Including myself and the ATR this class was on it's 3rd teacher this year. The teacher they had at the beginning of the year suddenly quit. That teacher was replaced by an ATR who was rotated out and then us. On Monday, teacher(s) #4 take over.

So one wonders why this is a rough class? I had to spend time not only building trust but building and maintaining my expectations along with catching the students up with the rest of the students in their grade.These students are 5th graders in the Bronx. The are brought into this world to be skeptical, to know the difference between shit and shinola.

Then there was Danny Noonan. Danny is ADHD and smart as a whip. He, alone among his classmates, would call out the utter bullshit that they have not had consistency in their classroom's teaching position the entire school year. He was right.

Danny was a challenge. He challenged and tested me right up until the end. The first week with him was tough. But I was me did what I had to do and his outbursts and temper was soon few and far between. I saw some of my when I was in 5th grade and I wasn't going to let Danny down.

I think things came to a head with him earlier this week. After weeks of being firm, yet compassionate during his disruptions with Danny I had to try a different tact. The day before the AP suggested that I call mom. With this outburst I told Danny I had no choice but to call mom. As I was walking out the door he pushed the door shut almost catching my fingers my thismuch.

Mom came in and we talked. She told me that too many teachers had given up on him. I told her that I will not give up on him (even knowing in the back of my head this was my last week). I think I finally got through to Danny. He finally felt safe.

Thursday night I got the email telling me to report to a new school this Monday. I told the class first thing yesterday morning. Danny wasn't there. He was late as usual. At about 8:40 I saw him walking down the hall and I told him outside the class one to one that I was not coming back.

He was stoic. Maybe too stoic. I saw the look in his eyes. Then with about 20 minutes left in the day there was a major meltdown.

I'm not blaming the principal at all. The principal of this school is a damn good principal. It's Tweed. It's the system. Its the fair student funding bullshit. Not all principals want the newbs.

This blaming the teachers and laying waste to ATR's needs to stop and stop now. The Susan Edelmans, the Eva Moskowitzs, the New York Posts of the world and all like those need to open their fucking eyes and look at how the people who are in charge are laying waste to education.Not to mention the con artists from within, like the UFT, and Mulgrew and Fuckface von Clownstick who is nothing more than Professor Harold Hill in manipulating ATR's and offering false hope and empty promises and now has decided to turn teacher against teacher. 

The Danny Noonans of the NYCDOE are being adversely affected. Don't they deserve a system that everyone works together for them?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Crap! This Sucks!

I received a phone call from my friend that is going through a 3020-a about 7 PM this evening. Funny, about the timing vis a vis last night's post.

After a grueling third day of testimony he has decided to retire, effective April 30, from the DOE.

I understand the pain and anguish. But, the only thing I can do and will do is support him in his decision.

There has got to be a better way.

At least he did not take advice from the Crazy Ones. 

Let's not forget thanks to the UFT. If he wasn't for the wonderful negotiating prowess he keeps his retro. Who knows? If the UFT did what it was supposed to do he might not have had whether or not he got his retro hanging over his head.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Helping Teachers That Need Help

My friend who I have written about recently (here and here) is now fighting for his career. His 3020-a hearing started recently and I hope and I pray that he comes out of the process keeping his job.

I have spent a lot of time with him on the phone, and in person, sharing the process, being another set of eyes with his paperwork, talking him off the ceiling, and helping in whatever he needs at that moment.

I have done this and will for anyone who asks.

But I am careful, as should anyone, that gives advice to any teacher in trouble. I have had to catch myself.

I am fighter. Not everyone is, can or will, fight back like me.

My friend was ready to quit. He set up a pension consultation and was going to retire. For a brief moment I was angry. How can you give up? "Fight back!" I was saying in my head. "Don't give into these fuckers!" 

But logic prevailed. It is not my fight it is his. I know exactly how he felt. I had my moments as well.

Yes, you can give advice about recording, FOIL, going to the press, screaming from the mountain top, but not everyone can or wants to do that. The best you can do when giving advice to a teacher in trouble is be there to listen, to give that teacher all their options available to them, and whatever that teacher chooses, be there to give your unconditional support.

I have seen first hand one teacher in particular that has gotten the wrong advice and basically has turned into a, well for lack of a better phrase, a certifiable basket case. He got caught completely radicalized and has dug himself deeper and deeper into the abyss where frankly, there is no escape.It's sad what has happened, very sad.

When helping that teacher in trouble we have to stay away from "should," "you must," and "you have to." This is not the fight of the person giving the advice but rather that of the teacher's.

When I went through the same not one person I spoke with told me what I must or have to do. I never heard the word should. I was given support. I had someone to listen to me. For that I am eternally grateful. These people are the true champions of teachers in trouble.

But it is not for me, nor anyone else, to project my belief system unto another teacher. I am nothing more than another system of support.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Shocking is all I can say. Especially the last paragraph on page 9.

Don't cross The Clown. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth The Clown."

Remember the Seinfeld episode in which George was trying to keep unemployment by claiming he interviewed with Jerry to be his latex salesman? George wound up face down in his underwear and Jerry said, "And you want to be my latex salesman?" Take that same sentence and replace UFT president for latex salesman.

   The Clown by Peter Zucker on Scribd