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The origins of the ATR crisis, from a veteran teacher

Over in the community section, Francis Lewis High School UFT chapter leader Arthur Goldstein offers a long-term, personal perspective on the Absent Teacher Reserve situation.

Because the 2005 teachers union contract ended senior teachers’ ability to claim open positions in the system, any teacher can become an ATR if Chancellor Joel Klein closes his or her school, Goldstein writes:

Teachers would no longer be sent to schools simply because there were open positions. Instead, they’d become ATRs, teaching whatever, wherever, to whomever. From there, we were assured, they’d easily find jobs. Unless, of course, they didn’t. Personally, I’m very glad I transferred when I could. For all I know, they could be closing my former school this very moment. I’d be very unhappy as an ATR teacher, and I’ve met many ATR teachers who feel precisely the same way.

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