A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
We hope the start of your school year has gone well. You are receiving this email because you are currently in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR).As part of the new contract with the UFT, ATRs will be scheduled for interviews in schools with applicable license-area vacancies within their boroughstarting the week of September 15. These borough-wide interviews represent an expanded opportunity for you to be considered for positions outside of the ATR. This letter provides you with more information about these interviews. Please read all of this information carefully.
Starting later this week, you may receive an email to your Department of Education Outlook account with notification regarding scheduled interviews.These emails will constitute written notification of the interview. Please be aware there are two different types of interviews:
Mandatory Interviews are scheduled during the school day and will be within your borough and license area. You are required to attend such Mandatory Interviews. If you misstwo (2) or more mandatory interviews, without good cause, you will be treated as having voluntarily resigned from your employment and removed from payroll immediately.
Optional Interviews are scheduled outside of school hours. You are notrequired to attend such Optional Interviews but are highly encouraged to do so to take advantage of all opportunities to be considered for a position outside of the ATR. While some optional interview invitations will be for positions that match in license and borough, you may also be invited to interview for positions outside of your borough or in a related license area.
The emails you receive will distinguish between these two interview types.
Below is some additional information in the form of a Q&A about these interviews. Please review all of the information below carefully.
When will I be notified about interviews?
In general, Mandatory Interview email notifications will be made on Saturdays for interviews scheduled forTuesdaythrough Friday of the following week. Optional Interview notifications may be up to two days in advance of the interview date. You may also receive a cancellation notice up to the afternoon before the interview so please be sure to check your email each afternoon.
How many interviews will I be scheduled for?
The number of interviews scheduled for each ATR will vary considerably and depend in part on the vacancies in each borough and license area. ATRs will be scheduled for no more than one Mandatory Interview per day and, in general, such interviews will only be scheduledTuesdaythrough Friday between the hours of9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The number of Optional Interviews invitations will also vary and may take place any day/time outside of school hours.
What do I have to do about communicating to and going to my assignment school?
The school you are currently assigned to will also receive notification of your interview schedule; however, it is recommended that you submit a copy of your interview notification to the Principal and/or Payroll Secretary. The school notification will advise your assignment school that they must release you to attend the Mandatory Interview. It is still expected that you report before and/or after your interview to your assignment school (leaving time for necessary travel). It is recommended that you obtain documentation from the interviewing school that you attended your interview and submit this proof of attendance to the Principal and/or Payroll Secretary at the school to which you are assigned and hold a copy for your records. If you are covering classes at your assignment school you must remind your Principal or designee about the need for alternative arrangements for the time you will be out for the interview.
Why should I go on the interviews?
Attending interviews means you are able to meet with school leaders in your seniority district and borough who have vacancies in your license area that need to be filled. While every interview may not result in a job, you are able to sharpen your interviewing skills and present yourself for future opportunities. As noted there are also potential consequences concerning your employment with the DOE for not attending Mandatory Interviews.
What if I miss an Interview?
You are required to attend all Mandatory Interviews. If you misstwo (2) or more interviews, without good cause, you will be treated as having voluntarily resigned from your employment. If you miss an interview, the principal will record your absence. If there is an extenuating circumstance, you should submit documentation to the interviewing principal and interviewing school payroll secretary, as well as to our office at ATRInterviews@schools.nyc.gov. If you have a regular excusable absence for that day you should provide applicable documentation to your assignment school.
Can I re-schedule an interview?
If it is absolutely necessary, you must contact the interviewing Principal to request to reschedule your interview date and time. You should send an e-mail and also follow up with a phone call to confirm.Please remember, it is at the Principal's discretion whether he/she will accommodate your re-schedule request and just making a request is not considered 'good cause' for not attending the interview.
Who will interview me and will all interviews take place as scheduled?
Principals may conduct the interview themselves or they may ask other appropriate staff to conduct the interview with or for them. Please remember that even as schools make every effort to keep to these schedules, unforeseen events may mean they are not able to do so or in some cases that the position may no longer be available. Please be prepared to be patient and flexible.
If I get an offer, do I need to take it?
If you are offered a position, you must accept this position. As the contract states, an ATR who fails to accept and appear for a permanent assignment that has been offered within two (2) work days of receiving written notice of the assignment without good cause shall be treated as having voluntarily resigned his/her employment. Schools and ATRs can agree to be hired on a provisional basis which means the position is for the school year only and at the end of the year you would only remain in the school by mutual agreement with the principal.
In 3020-a hearings, rarely do the Representatives/Attorneys for the Respondent (teacher/educator) bring up Education Law 3012-c.
When I do an incompetency case, I bring it up when I know that my client has terrific student data. Why? Because if an educator is alleged to be totally a failure at teaching, and his/her students have high scores on tests, grades, etc., I believe that the educator cannot be proven to be a failure at teaching. The data is one more item added to the list as part of the defense.
If an educator does not have good scores on tests, then this data is not brought in because there are too many intervening factors to have this data prove that the person is truly incompetent. Thus if the Respondent teacher is appointed to a CTT class or self-contained class, the student data does not reflect the progress or learning of the students, necessarily, as these students may not have been given their services, extended time, and other accommodations.
The data should never be used alone, of course. This is part of an entire defense, planned and implemented by the legal team. Added to the mix are: hostile work environment, hatred/revenge/wrongdoing by the administrators or other people in the building, lies and misinformation. Winning a 3020-a is both time-consuming and work intensive, but worth every minute. The DOE Attorneys have a very heavy burden most of the time. They get half the story - most of which may not be true - and have to argue for termination or resignation, not something in between. How does a late student assessment prove incompetency? How does a lesson plan that does not have a formula in it prove that a teacher cannot teach math? I don't know.
The DOE attorneys argue that the student data is not "relevant". This is also the ruling of one of the most biased against teachers, Arbitrator Haydee Rosario who, in
Haydee Rosario, Esq.
2006, was an attorney for the NYC DOE and prosecuted educators brought to 3020-a.She believes that all student data for a teacher charged with incompetency is not relevant to the charges. Ridiculous. If students have great standardized test scores, certainly a part of the result is due to the teaching that went on in that class that year. At least that's what I think.
In fact teacher data reports include the vague "student progress" in test scores, ruled by New York State Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern, with teacher's names. Now THAT's unfair. Scores and student data are part of a package of facts, and should not be used without all the other elements of bad faith in public policy, the improper determination of probable cause, hostility by a person in the building, grievances filed by the Respondent, facts which can bring charges against an employee and which do not prove by a preponderance of evidence that the teacher is incompetent..
N.Y. Education Law 3012-c – Annual professional performance review of classroom teachers and building principals
§ 3012-c. Annual professional performance review ofclassroom teachersand building principals. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the annual professional performance reviews of all classroom teachers and building principals employed by school districts or boards of cooperative educational services shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such performance reviews which are conducted on or after July first, two thousand eleven, or on or after the date specified in paragraph c of subdivision two of this section where applicable, shall include measures of student achievement and be conducted in accordance with this section. Such annual professional performance reviews shall be a significant factor foremploymentdecisions including but not limited to, promotion, retention, tenure determination, termination, and supplemental compensation, which decisions are to be made in accordance with locally developed procedures negotiated pursuant to therequirementsof article fourteen of the civil service law where applicable. Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the statutory right of a school district or board of cooperative educational services to terminate a probationary teacher or principal for statutorily and constitutionally permissible reasons other than the performance of the teacher or principal in the classroom or school, including but not limited to misconduct. Such performance reviews shall also be a significant factor in teacher and principal development, including but not limited to, coaching, induction support and differentiated professional development, which are to be locally established in accordance with procedures negotiated pursuant to the requirements of article fourteen of the civil service law.
2. a. (1) The annual professional performance reviews conducted pursuant to this section for classroom teachers and building principals shall differentiate teacher and principal effectiveness using the following quality rating categories: highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective, with explicit minimum and maximum scoring ranges for each category, for the state assessments and other comparable measures subcomponent of the evaluation and for the locally selected measures of student achievement subcomponent of the evaluation, as prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner. There shall be: (i) a state assessments and other comparable measures subcomponent which shall comprise twenty or twenty-five percent of the evaluation; (ii) a locally selected measures of student achievement subcomponent which shall comprise twenty or fifteen percent of the evaluation; and (iii) an other measures of teacher or principal effectiveness subcomponent which shall comprise the remaining sixty percent of the evaluation, which in sum shall constitute the composite teacher or principal effectiveness score. Such annual professional performance reviews shall result in a single composite teacher or principal effectiveness score, which incorporates multiple measures of effectiveness related to the criteria included in the regulations of the commissioner.
(2) For annual professional performancereviewsconducted in accordance with paragraph b of this subdivision for the two thousand eleven–two thousand twelve school year and for annual professional performance reviews conducted in accordance with paragraphs f and g of this subdivision for the two thousand twelve–two thousand thirteen school year, the overall composite scoring ranges shall be in accordance with this subparagraph. A classroom teacher and building principal shall be deemed to be:
(A) Highly Effective if they achieve a composite effectiveness score of 91-100.