Daily News “ATR” Editorial

Jun 20, 2021 by

Yesterday’s Daily News editorial (6/14) about the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) was a kiss and a slap.  The kiss was a prelude and a set-up.  The slap was the message.


The kiss consisted of an acknowledgement that it is a “positive thing” that hundreds of teachers, many of them classroom veterans who were displaced from their school years ago and dispatched to multiple temporary assignments, will now be appointed to permanent positions.

The editorial properly pointed out that those temporary assignments were not the former, notorious so-called “rubber rooms” to which staff accused of improprieties were exiled, and that staff member re-locations generally were not a reflection of poor job performance or disciplinary action, but rather budgetary pressures or programming quirks.

So much for the kiss.

Despite admitting that ATRs were uprooted to no fault of their own, the editorial uses at best a neutral, rather than sympathetic tone in describing them, despite their having been victims of circumstance and  the system.

It alleges, without evidence, that the pool of hundreds of ATRs comprises “a higher percentage of duds (who) get foisted on a principal.”  It bemoans that it “requires documenting misconduct or incompetence”  for principals to get rid of “bad apples” and this is aggravated by the fact that school leaders are so “busy.”

“Due process” may be slightly cumbersome at times, but it is vital to the administration of justice.  That doesn’t sit well with the Daily News, which decries “a very bad state law” and the practice of legal principles of fair-play that offer “rigid union job protections”.

For that, the Daily News deserves to be whacked by the entirety of its auditorium-sized cadre of readership.

Ron Isaac.

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