A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by acts of corruption and fraud. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, and re-assigned. The terms "rubber room" and "ATR" mean that you or any person has been targeted for removal from your job. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
Walcott said his goal is to analyze the district and to assure the improvement of education for all students. He also acknowledged that part of this task will involve “separating fact from fiction,” and to parse through the different opinions in East Ramapo.
A former teacher who grew up in Queens, Mr. Walcott will be part of a three-person panel to oversee an expert team of three experts to study the district’s operations for four months and offer recommendations to the school board and the Board of Regents.
In his role as Monitor, Walcott is supported by Dr. Monica George-Fields, an expert in teaching and learning and school turnaround, and Dr. John W. Sipple of Cornell University, who has a background in education policy and finance and will be supported by experts in state education finance. Walcott’s team will report directly to Commissioner Elia and will be a regular presence in the district with the authority to monitor district operations, including fiscal and operational management and educational programming.
Walcott’s team will provide guidance, make recommendations and propose actions for improvement to the school district and to the State Education Department, to ensure that students have access to appropriate programs and services and that the district is on a path to fiscal and programmatic stability, as well as review the allocation of State resources to the district and make findings or recommendations as to any necessary modifications.
Mr. Walcott and his team will also maintain a regular presence in the district, including meetings with the Board, district staff, and members of the community, and will provide regular feedback, progress reports and updates to the State Education Department and the district.