Sunday, November 19, 2006

This Jar of Money Can Be Yours (Just Sign Here)

Each day I learn our contract is more complicated than I thought.

Readers of this blog know that Chancellor Klein hires hundreds of new teachers even as he relegates working teachers to the "Absent Teacher Reserve." Under the proposed new contract, he'll be able to offer them a severance package, even though none of them, to my knowledge, have been established as bad teachers.

But here's something you won't read in NY Teacher---those teachers who are part of the city's Teaching Fellows program are not receiving this offer. They're being threatened with termination, and expulsion from college coursework. As I can't provide a link, I'll share the letter one of the Fellows received:

Dear .....,

According to our records, at this time you are still in the Teacher Reserve without a regular, full-time assignment. I am writing to remind you that as per the Fellow Commitment Form that you signed, if you do not find a regular school-level teaching position outside of the Teacher Reserve by December 1 you will no longer remain in the Teaching Fellows program. As a result, you will no longer be licensed and you will be terminated from employment for failure to meet qualifications. Furthermore, you will not be able to continue university coursework after that date.

At this time, you should continue to seek a school-level teaching position. While our preference is for you to remain in your assigned region, you are permitted to seek interview opportunities and obtain a position anywhere in the city. The Placement Support office remains available to assist you with interviewing tips and can provide you feedback through a mock interview. If you would like assistance please contact Placement Support at 718.935.4586.

We must be in receipt of a signed School Commitment Form by 5:00 p.m. on December 1 in order for you to remain in the Fellowship and on payroll. If you have already secured a position, please fax the signed School Commitment Form as soon as possible to 718.935.4185.

I hope you will be successful in securing a position so that you can remain in the Fellowship.


Vicki Bernstein

Director of Alternative Certification

According to my source, the Fellows program guarantees its participants teaching positions if they complete the summer program. This is not the first time Klein's DoE has attempted to weasel out of a contract by simply ignoring its provisions. Can anyone help these teachers?

Can the Unity wonks still stand up and claim the new ATR program is better than the old UFT transfer plan?
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