There is an argument, used by our leadership, that goes like this--the Open Market System is superior to the old transfer system. Under the old system, only a few hundred teachers transferred. Under the new system, thousands did.
This argument is based on the presumption that quantity is everything. If more teachers move around, the world is a better place. They don't say precisely how or why, but they don't need to.
In the top-secret Unity Caucus meeting where this rationale was introduced, did anyone discuss it? I mean, on the application, it says Unity Caucus members will disagree only within the caucus. For the overwhelming majority of us ham-and-eggers who are not privy to their conversations, we have no idea whether such things even occur.
If they do, which I seriously doubt, it means they've decided to ignore our 1600 colleagues that float around without regular jobs. I know ATR teachers, and I know what being in limbo does to people. I know how I'd feel if Joel Klein closed my school and dumped me into the pool, through no fault of my own.
The philosophy that more is better is possible only if you are totally indifferent to the misery inflicted on our wandering colleagues. And you can be thus only for one of two reasons:
1. You are ignorant of what's going on. or--
2. The plight of ATRs makes no difference to you.
Either way, it's not the attitude leadership ought to be taking. And it's certainly not one we should accept. As union, we stand together. We fight for one another. We don't leave our members in limbo and ignore the stress and misery we've inflicted upon them via our own errors.
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