NY Daily News Editorial: Is the New Teachers Contract Worth Celebrating?

NY Daily News // May 2, 2014

An editorial in the New York Daily News outlines shortcomings of the new teachers contract including the absent teacher reserve:

The Absent Teacher Reserve. Under the unconscionable status quo, 1,200 teachers who have lost classroom jobs — some simply because their schools shut down, some because they’re bad at what they do — continue to collect paychecks until the end of time, costing the city more than $100 million a year.

Cities like Chicago and D.C. set a hard time limit for finding new positions, then say sayonara, which is the only sane fix.

Mayor de Blasio, UFT boss Michael Mulgrew and Chancellor Carmen Fariña are touting a plan that will send ATR teachers to schools with vacancies to audition for a day, or two, or three.

If the apple turns out to be rotten, they say, the principal can write up an explanation and send the instructor back. A twice-returned teacher can then be fired through a streamlined process. This places a fresh burden on principals to formally write up and refuse teachers they should have had no obligation to consider in the first place. They need discretion to decide whom to interview, hire and fire.