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More than 1,000 teacher jobs must be filled

By Paul Socolar on Aug 12, 2011 07:08 PM

[Updated 8/13 with quotes from Fraser, Useem, Kempin]

Just 20 calendar days before teachers are to report to work, the School District has finally posted its teacher vacancy list and next week will start trying to match teachers with more than 1,000 vacant positions.

District spokesperson Jamilah Fraser explained, "After we finish the voluntary and forced transfers, we will have the opportunity to bring back nearly 200 teachers" from those who were laid off.

Awaiting selection of their new assignments are 930 teachers who were force-transferred, according to Arlene Kempin of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

The PFT posted the transfer schedule on its website Friday. Starting on Tuesday and continuing for nine days, teachers who were force-transferred as well as voluntary transfers will take their turn at 440 N. Broad St. picking positions based on seniority. Kempin noted that any voluntary transfers don't affect the overall numbers on the vacancy list because a position opens up in place of the one filled.

At the same time, the District's nine Promise Academies will be filling their vacancies through a site-based selection process.

Still no word on the long-awaited arbitrator's ruling in the grievance filed by the union over the District's decision to protect existing Promise Academy teachers from layoff. The hiring process cannot be completed till that issue, affecting 174 teachers, is resolved.

At this point in the summer, the District is usually only hustling to hire for its hardest-to-fill positions. Last summer, it was still working on staffing its first cohort of Promise Academies.

The process this year is complicated not only by the grievance and by the layoff of about 1,500 teachers due to a budget crisis, but also by the fact that the District's human resources staff is coping with sharp cutbacks as part of a 50 percent reduction in central office spending.

A chaotic end-of-summer hiring process was as predictable as it is unfortunate, according to researcher Betsey Useem, who has written extensively on teacher hiring issues.

"Given the known budget predicament, planning to prevent this sort of disruption should have been given priority by the administration," Useem said. "Researchers have shown that student achievement suffers when the shuffling of teacher assignments during September robs them of serious learning opportunities."

The largest clusters of teacher vacancies to fill this August are at the District's three new Promise Academies, where all teachers were forced to reapply for their jobs. Germantown High School has 39 openings, King has 49, and West Philadelphia has 44.

But they aren't the only schools with lots of hiring to do and now not a lot of days left to do it. Barry Elementary in West Philadelphia, slated to become a Promise Academy and then dropped from the list, has 22 vacancies. Carnell Elementary in the Lower Northeast has 21. Overbrook High School has 20.

No official tally of the total number of vacant positions is available, but the Notebook counted well over 1,000 full-time positions on the list. The District says the vacancy list will be updated daily.

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Comments (278)

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on August 12, 2011 7:56 pm

All I have to say is LOL. To keep from crying.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 8:00 pm

I was going to say the same thing. All of the veteran teachers who said not to worry are probably giggling and telling us green teachers "I told you so" to themselves. Not to belittle the problem most of us faced, but this was the scariest summer I've been through as a teacher.
I'm curious as to what is going to happen now in the next few weeks. This is going to be one interesting September and hopefully all of the teachers who were laid-off have a job by October.
I hope this works out for the best, especially for the kids.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 8:47 pm

I told you so. Lololololol

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:08 pm

I'm not giggling to myself---TOLD YOU SO !!!! and glad I was right. Hope you collected unemployment too as you folks deserve it, of course.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 10:02 am

yes you are.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 7:57 pm

There are 1,000 jobs that need to be filled. How many teachers haven't been placed? Are there enough with the right certifications to fill those positions or will more need to be recalled?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 7:08 pm

I'm wondering the same thing. How do you lay off that many teachers but yet still have 1,000 vacancies? Hopefully the district gets it together before school opens.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:38 pm

POLITICS-- I hope you got unemployment too. You deserved it after what Arlene et al put you through. You'll get a letter to come back over the next couple weeks. It was all a farce.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:28 pm

my unemployment did kick in.....but I do hope I get my job back.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:30 pm

You shall get your job back AND glad you got that unemployment money too.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:57 pm

I hope so. Someone was explaining to me that the top part of the list doesn't specify any subjects. I am a PE teacher and he seems to think that some PE teachers will be picking before the Aug 23 date for PE/Language teachers. What is your take on his assumption? I'm really trying to remain hopeful that I will be recalled. The arbitration will also affect me. I'm either 5th or 12th on the list of call backs depending on the arbitration.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:20 pm

You most definitely will be rehired--no question at all about it and it will very likely be before school opens and DEFINITELY before the middle of September. Things will be wild when school begins with a big shortage of teachers. Actually, the District is always short so this political farce of laying off teachers, will make their shortage issue even worse. I don't mean to be mean but it's the truth and all veterans knew it. Hope you got unemployment too--you deserved it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:43 pm

thank you. I appreciate it. I hope we all get rehired....it's been a diffucult summer filled with uncertainty. I'm going to keep the faith and believe all the veterans. Thanks

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Hopefully, all your fears will be over soon and hopefully, very soon.

Submitted by Mark (not verified) on August 13, 2011 12:30 am

I think the "I-told-you-so's" are premature. Do you know the exact number of forced and voluntary transfers? If that number equals 1000, then nobody will be rehired. Sit down and squelch that ego, please.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on August 13, 2011 12:45 am

Yes. 930 forced and voluntary transfers. Unclear whether the jobs of the voluntaries are already on the list or not. Best not to jump to conclusions until after 8/26, imho.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 8:40 am

Imho--Be wrong--all will remain as every year--they'll be scrambling for teachers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:32 am

Unlike you I do know what I'm talking about. All retirements haven't been completed and there are always a few hundred who quit at the last minute. There are/will be positions available. You can squelch that.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 8:24 am

I agree--Thank You.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 8:44 am

You're wrong again. Don't you ever get tired of that?? If the numbers of kids remain similar and they lay off 1000 teachers then guess what, they need 1000 teachers. They will actually need MORE teachers because they are historically always short.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 10:12 am

YES!!! They are wrong.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 10:29 am

No!!! You sit down and squelch the fact that most people know you are wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 10:43 am

OK--I will do what you said and I will squelch the fact that most people think I'm wrong. I hope you don't teach English. Get some sleep and stop hating.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:32 am

I agree that it is too early for "I told you so." Once all laid off teachers have been rehired, let the teasing begin. Until then, pipe down. More importantly, one should take care to remember the disruption that the lay-offs (and possible recalls) will have. As a Promise Academy teacher caught up in the arbitration, I may be let go next week. This will open up my slot at UCHS which will go to either a teacher who doesn't really want it or to someone that the principal already turned away...such will be the case for 2/3 to 3/4 of the teachers there. I, along with all other laid off UCHS teachers, will then get stuck somewhere else in the event that we are recalled. Not only will UCHS be a chaotic mess, but the displaced teachers will likely be unhappy in there new placements. Once again the students at a chronically underperforming school will have their negative opinions about education validated. If I were a student at UCHS, how could I not believe that school is a waste and that no one seems to have my interests at heart if nearly all of the teachers were sent packing one more time, only to be replaced by those who are only looking to have a job?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 2:37 pm

WOW--You need to get over yourself. CHILL OUT---You will have a job as will everybody else. Plus, the PFT protects you and be glad for it. Ackerman was trying to break the union--make no mistake about it. If you're a young person, count your blessings you belong to a union and fight every second of every day to protect yourself and your brothers and sisters. You speak like someone who has very little knowledge of the District.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Well Said.

Submitted by Fly on the Wall (not verified) on August 15, 2011 12:20 am

I am a current Promise Academy teacher. Getting into my school was tough and only the best and brightest made the cut. PA teachers should be exempt from seniority rules because they are superior!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 8:39 am

Fly on the Wall--You belong on the wall. Please remain there.

Submitted by Anony (not verified) on August 15, 2011 10:15 am

Don't fool yourself - PA hiring was a farce. Look at your fellow teachers - they have some stuff in common, but brains is certainly not one of them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 1:51 pm

Be nice Antny.

Submitted by tom-104 on August 15, 2011 10:50 am

Fly on the Wall, do you really think you will make your case by insulting all the teachers in the District except PAs? This is one of the reasons PAs were created, it divides teachers against each other and thereby weakens our solidarity. Sorry you drank the kool aide. You will regret it in time.

Submitted by Anonymously Curious (not verified) on August 15, 2011 10:53 am

You are just feeding a troll....

Submitted by tom-104 on August 15, 2011 11:36 am

It is wrong to dismiss this teacher from a PA as a "troll". (Assuming he or she is who they claim to be.) This is someone within the teacher profession that has this opinion. If someone outside the profession had this opinion, I would not pay attention.

There are many young teachers coming into the profession whose only source of information has been the mainstream media. Since these media are corporately owned, they routinely blame public schools teachers for the conditions in the public schools. Those of us in public schools know how hard we work. We know that the causes of our problems are underfunding (by the same politicians who bash public schools) and poverty. We must educate the public, inside and outside the profession, to this reality.

I suggest you read this column in Education Week which develops this understanding further:

http://bit.ly/qDq5IL

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 1:06 pm

You're right, I agree---if he/she really is being serious.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 1:31 pm

I agree.

Submitted by Fly on the Wall (not verified) on August 16, 2011 9:53 pm

Now that the arbitrator has ruled in favor of the union contract, it's time to leave my Promise Academy position and move on. I'm heading to Mastery Charter where "Flash Mob" students are expelled and sent back to the School District. My talents will be better served in a charter school where the best and brightest students pass out carnations to all who love them. While the pay will be a bit less, I will no longer have to contribute 1% of my salary to entrenched PFT staffers!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 16, 2011 10:13 pm

WOW--Either you're kidding or, well, you must be kidding.

Submitted by Shante (not verified) on August 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Can't say that I blame you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 1:26 pm

He certainly will. Youth--you gotta love it. As he ages a bit and sees the world the way it is, he'll be glad to be in a union---if we still have one.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 6:49 pm

Over 20 yrs. ago I had to pass an interview to be able to teach
for a high school academy. Those who did not follow the criteria were booted from the academies.Other teachers in the school wanted to teach in my academy; but could not. Then Vallas decided that every high school child should have the oppty. to the wonders of the academies. Instead of being exclusive, students and teachers were rostered haphazardly and schools with academies became Empowerment Schools.What you have been asked to do to apply to the PAs, many veterans have been asked to do before, and we got paid for it. I'm not doubting how good a teacher you are; but you negotiate your services for less. Site-selected posts require that you apply like the PAs, without demanding noncontractual arrangements. Every administrator tries to get U to do things for
free. We get paid for Sat. work. It is easier to tell a young person what to do, that doesn't mean U are superior, just cheaper and easier to manipulate.
The rules and names have changed with every superintendent. Make sure you protect yourself for we don't know what will be done by the replacement.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 6:26 pm

I agree--PFT--all for one and one for all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 2:49 pm

What you describe is happening all over the district and is in no way limited to Promise Academies. Maybe being in a non-PA will do you good. Maybe you will see that the pack of lies you were sold there is just that- lies.

My school, a non-PA, will only have 3 returning teachers due to layoffs (including mine). It will be a chaotic mess, the students will be disheartened, it is a VERY difficult to staff school without bonus money to incentivize it, and there are dozens more like it.

We need to stand together and fight to make sure this will be the last year of this turmoil and nonsense.

Not nearly as many teachers as you think are just in it for the paycheck, and I am getting sick of this holier-than-thou attitude and vitriol pouring out of these places. Ackerman sure got just what she wanted!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 3:14 pm

EVERYWHERE she has been, she has created angst to a nightmare degree. It's who she is. Hopefully, she and her cronies will be gone soon. DON"T think for a second that the shot callers were blind as to who she was before she slithered into Phila. The PFT and all unions better wake up before it's too late. By the way, Corbett, of course, loves her.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on August 13, 2011 2:27 pm

"Someone the principal already turned away" isn't what you think though. NCLB says only 50% can be rehired in a reconstituted school, so if a school is low-performing but has highly dedicated, competent people working there, 1/2 have to go. Using your example of UCHS -- my colleague was let go from there and not rehired in the bloodshed but is a WONDERFUL teacher. She's in my subject area and was hired at my school this past year.

One of the ironies of this mess is that forced transfers carry their building seniority with them. So even though I've been at my school for many years, the budget cutting at our school caused HER to get to stay and has forced me to go. Now of course my building seniority travels with me, so, voila! It is very possible that, wherever I land, my seniority will now trump somebody else's. We have a ridiculous game of musical chairs going on. Does this make any sense? It's as though the district doesn't understand the very system they have set up and agreed to!

Your comment appears to disparage people being replaced, but neither seniority levels NOR principal choice will guarantee that a particular staff is dedicated or hard-working. Principals have agendas, want to get rid of people who speak up, prefer to keep the compliant, etc. Most teachers who are being moved around have to choose something -- there is NOTHING wrong with needing to have a job!! I need to pay my bills too, you know! Being moved around doesn't equate to being incompetent or lazy or uninterested. I love teaching, and would have loved to have stayed in my position. I was well-respected by both admin and staff at my school.

In other words, I hope people will tone down the negative rhetoric about people caught in the forced transfer shuffle. If something isn't done, and soon, many more of us will be riding this unnecessary, chaos-creating merry-go-round.

And I apologize ahead of time if my traveling building seniority trumps yours!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 9:57 am

I am a PA teacher too, caught up in arbitration. Did you recieve a forced transfer letter?

Submitted by anonYmOUs TEACHer (not verified) on August 15, 2011 9:48 am

Yes, but I'm not one of those caught up in arbitration.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 16, 2011 1:48 pm

When a voluntary transfer gets their transfer then their current position becomes a vacancy. We will still need more positions filled than there will be teachers to fill them. Happens every year.

Submitted by Paul Socolar on August 13, 2011 3:23 pm

Story just updated - District says there are enough openings to call back about 200 teachers after transfers are placed.

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 3:43 pm

That's great, at least for some!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:50 pm

How can that be? I do not get to pick until Aug 24 and by then all my choices will be filled.

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:39 pm

As I've pointed out in various places on these comments:

there are approx. 1010 or so jobs listed right now.
there are approx. 930 forced and voluntary transfers on the picking list.

There will be other openings due to hard to fill areas and people who have disappeared -- both categories' totals unknown but throw in 100 or so at minimum.

Do the math.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 9:56 am

Surely you jest. EVERYBODY will be recalled after the dust settles and the Promise Academy folks need to blame Ackerman NOT the PFT for all this chaos. She wanted to destroy the union and she couldn't do it. The bottom line is unions protect regular folks from the corporate types who would like very much to relegate us to serfs as in the distant past. Exhibit A--WalMart. Sorry for your nasty experiences but the PFT is not to blame. By the way, Obama is a disappointment but he's light years better than any of the Tea Party Nuts and don't forget that.

Submitted by Anonymously Curious (not verified) on August 15, 2011 9:26 am

I don't think he's blaming PFT. I think she's saying that the math for everybody being recalled doesn't work. I know you like to assure us otherwise but unless you're the SRC you can't really assure us of that, you can only do your dance telling us what you believe to be true. I hope you're right, but I doubt everyone down to the lowest seniority elementary school teacher will be back.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Maybe not in early September but everybody will be recalled during the early part of the year. LOTS of people don't show up on the first day like those who quit, retired etc. It goes on every year.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 7:17 pm

Is there a possibility that all 174 non-Promise teachers are being recalled, and therefore no need for the arbitrator to rule?

There is no way they have the staff for these vacancies. You can see the numbers yourselves on the schedule for transfer picking. There are a few hundred but nothing like 1,000.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 8:55 pm

1,151 positions (of which about 50 are for counselors or librarians). So, basically 1,100 teaching positions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 8:42 pm

"No official tally of the total number of vacant positions is available, but the Notebook counted well over 1,000 full-time positions on the list. The District says the vacancy list will be updated daily."

Well over 1000 full time positions..Who counted this? I think this figure is way off!

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:16 pm

I personally counted them. See my posting elsewhere. There are about 1008 traditionals and 170 promise academy positions on the list.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:15 pm

Some of those were Counselors and Librarians, so about 1,100 teachers total (regular public and promise combined).

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on August 12, 2011 8:39 pm

What happens when a transfer teacher selects a school in the next couple weeks and the ORIGINAL teacher for that position is recalled on August 29 and files a Right to Return prior to September 1. Which teacher has priority over that specific position?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:33 pm

I think the recalled teacher(formerly laid off) would have to pick from the vacancy list, or what is left of it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:45 pm

To save face, the District will try to shift teachers around--their version of a shell game but the truth is all teachers will be recalled unless some are just not certified properly. The larger truth is that the District will now be SHORT of teachers for a few months and maybe a whole year. Some folks have quit teaching or moved.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:25 pm

A returning teacher cannot return to a position that is not available. The right to return could be filled by September 30th if someone were to leave within that time.

If the position does not open by September 30th, they have to fill in a new right to return in February to be considered for the 2012-2013 School Year.

As of right now, a laid off teacher is not an employee.

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:14 pm

Thank you for the clarification.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:48 pm

No problem.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:58 pm

Not until they ALL get letters to come back over the next couple weeks.

Submitted by quiddityrox (not verified) on August 13, 2011 8:57 pm

I want my partner back! she was laid off and a wonderful 'newbie' teacher....I hope that she gets recalled to our school, which is her school of choice. What has occurred to these new, fresh, young teachers is so disheartening.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:12 pm

Good, good qustion....it's a mess

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:58 pm

There are a total of 930 teachers on the forced and voluntary transfer list. Also, they have a listing but not a number for "Voluntary transfers with less than 5 years of seniority." Who knows how many that could be.

The actual number of positions for laid off teachers will depend on how many of the transfers are voluntary (since they have a job now that will have to be filled) versus the forced transfers (whose jobs were eliminated, such as mine.) It is very hard to estimate those numbers from such a general list. Also, quite a few of the positions will be in the "hard to fill" category, so undoubtedly some new and specialized people will have to be hired from outside. Finally, multiply-certified folk (like me) may be forced out of our areas all together and thus be forced to pick in other areas.

I think all bets are off until the dust settles, toward the end of the week after next (when the Promise Academy site selection closes.)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 1:45 am

Maybe... the people who are voluntary transfers with less than a year in the job should be last.

There is NO position in the district that needs to be filled from outside. Not even superintendent.

Submitted by anonYmOUs TEACHer (not verified) on August 14, 2011 11:50 am

It's hard to back up such a declarative statement without knowing the actual openings and then knowing who the specific number of people moving around or laid off in a particular subject area are. Chinese? All the bilingual positions (teachers, counselors, etc.)? How about the combined science openings like physics/chem, etc.? Per the rules, you have to have been in the position listed first on all those combo positions, and then have the second cert, in order to apply.

I agree that there won't be many outsiders hired, but there's likely to be a few.

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Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:46 pm

Okay, I did some finally tallies, yes, I counted:

1,100 teaching positions are open according to the SDP Vacancy List. 906 have to be filled by teachers who are NOT laid off (according to the PFT website). So, approximately 200 teachers will be returned to service on August 29th.

The 1,100 teaching positions does NOT count Speech, Hearing, Bright Futures, Librarians, Counselors, or any part-time position.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:41 pm

Correction, some final tallies, not finally.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:39 pm

where did you get the 906 number?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:16 pm

Can someone help me out....there are 37 PE openings on the vacancy list. We are picking with the language teachers on the 23rd. There will be a total of 41 teachers picking. It appears that PE teachers may have a good chance of being recalled. If I am missing something can someone please clarify it for me.

Submitted by Anonymous teacher (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:42 pm

You are forgetting about all the people on the top half of the chart! Please notice that no subject areas are specified there. Some of those forced transfers may be people whose PE jobs were completely eliminated (as was my job in my area), and who need another one. So by the time you get to the second half of the chart, some % of those 512 people will have chosen PE.

This is why I am figuring (as I stated elsewhere, in a comment under today's News section) that since I am a forced transfer at the very end of the top half of the chart, it is possible that (if all subjects were able to be statistically equalized, which they can't be, of course) I will be picking after half the jobs in my position are gone. The interesting part (ok, I'm weird) is trying to deduce which positions in my area are more desirable than others.

There's actually no way to know from the way this chart is set up exactly how many forced or voluntary transfers in the top half of the chart are in a particular subject. I wish we could figure it out, but there isn't enough information here.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:25 pm

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain that. I really appreciate it. I was hopeful but now I'm back to uncertainty. What you say makes sense. thanks again and good luck with your selection.

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:17 pm

I started counting where it says 1 in the first column and then Forced & Voluntary Transfers in the Second COlumn,

The first two listed positions are for Pre-K HeadStart Teachers (6) and Vocal and Hearing Teachers (18).

All others are counted.m below that.

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Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 12, 2011 9:14 pm

From the PFT website:

http://pft.org/docs/teacher%20transfer%20schedule%202011%20for%20PFT.pdf

I did not count the Pre-K Head teachers or the Vocal/Hearing teachers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:35 pm

TO all the Naysayers-------------------Told you so !!!! Of course, they have to rehire the people they let go. The kids are still there--with more to come as all these charter schools like Imhotep show their true colors as in fraud. When the dust clears, everybody who is properly certified will be back and likely many will be at the same schools from which they were canned--certainly not all but likely over 60%. In any case, hopefully the nightmare named Ackerman will be gone any day now. Archie of ALL people, should have NOTHING to say about anybody else as he should truly be in jail.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 12, 2011 10:39 pm

A lot of those people towards the bottom are long gone to districts that don't treat them like this.

Submitted by Community Stakeholder (not verified) on August 13, 2011 2:00 am

This stuff that Arlene has pulled here is a repeat of what she did in other places she has been in... "Promise Academies" were called "Dream Schools" in San Francisco... Please take a moment to read, I mean really read the article at the link below. You'll be surprised to see just how history is and has repeated itself! And because of it, when she leaves, we'll be stuck with that idiot who knows nothing about K-12 schools (especially since he's never taught in one or been a principal) Leroy Nunery as our next Superintendent... Thank God I do not have a child of my own in the School District of Philadelphia. http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-01-21/bay-area/17408761_1_school-board-s...

Submitted by Psych Teach (not verified) on August 13, 2011 7:08 am

It's like looking in a mirror.

"To me, it seems like a lot of it is about the show and not about the education of kids," she said. "It's just hard to be one of those people in the chain."

Submitted by TopHeavyStaff (not verified) on August 13, 2011 7:41 am

The much cited statistic is 50% of all new teachers quit within their first 5 years. I wonder how many new teachers have quit entirely because of this massive layoffs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 10:33 am

More than a few. I graduated with my M.S. in 2010, and many in my graduating class never got a job in teaching. Very few who graduated this year will.

Not only have a lot of first-years fled to jobs outside the field, but huge numbers of students who would have gotten degrees in education have changed majors so they have half a hope of getting a job.

People who continue and graduate are moving halfway across the country (many to North Carolina) in order to find employment. This field is not what it once was.

When all the boomers retire in a few years, we are going to be hurting for teachers. The blame game, scapegoating, and bad pay aren't helping matters.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:15 am

I graduated undergrad in 1983. Times were tough - previous recession. I did a lot of different things until I started teaching 8 years later. I learned a lot in the other volunteer and work situations. I went to graduate school with a fellowship. Did I live on very little? Yes (and I had loans to repay). Will I have to teach until I'm much older? Yes. But, just because someone graduates and is licensed to teach doesn't mean they have to start teaching right away. I think it is good to experience more of life before teaching.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:38 am

It is possible that those who were scared away will come back but certainly not all of them. I am talking about numbers, not anecdotal experience. We will be hurting 10 years from now when nobody wants to be a teacher and everyone retires.

More than half of teachers nationwide will retire in the next ten years. Those who are just starting their careers are being laid off, shuffled around, paid crap, and facing a public who thinks just about everything is the fault of teachers.

I can't say anything about the mid-80s because I was an infant, but your experience is not common-- many who graduated and found jobs outside the education field are never going to come back. I am just relating what I know from watching what is happening to my peers.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 12:47 pm

What numbers? Why is my experience any more anecdotal than your experience? There will be teachers - hopefully people with more experience than a recent 22 year old college graduate who has little to no urban experience. Cities can "grow their own" teachers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 9:07 am

What I don't get is why we got laid off in the first place. Any insight?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 12:35 pm

$650 Million in insight. That money isn't going to fall from the sky. If they keep spending the way they have been, there isn't enough to pay us. If they reign in ludicrous contracts to vendors, bizarre organizational management structures with built-in redundancy, and expensive programs like SLAM then they could bring us all back. But the district currently does not prioritize spending on the actual classrooms and teachers but rather on lobbyists and administrators who are friends with Ackerman.

Also, we were all pawns in the Ackerman PR machine.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 11:05 am

So much for Ackerman trying to turn all school Promise or Charter. She has no money to do it now---A victory for the PFT I would think.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 6:19 pm

I think that when the layoffs appear there is playing with numbers given to cheat the state.Similarly, have U noticed how no students get dropped from roll after May 1?It is necessary to keep the enrollment up to keep more funding from the state.Also, some of the administrators who had a part in the school plan may be reshuffled, cut or choose to retire. Some voluntary transfers may become forced in July as principals see that they couldn't cut the person they really wanted, and you may become a victim or be rewarded with a job by the whim of
what others may choose to do if forced. Retirement or leaving teaching altogether is happening a lot.Administrators are now cutting from the middle. I didn't think that could be done, but it can happen. Also site-selection picks may have been filled with vacancies the adm. didn't choose. That affects everyone, as they go in the pool too.

Submitted by Forced Transfer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:00 am

Because there are so many forced transfers this year, the SDP really needs a "job fair" where all 250 some odd principals attend and all forced transfers are invited. Those of us picking in the next week or two just might want to meet with potential principals/ supervisors. There is one school who has a vacancy in my area who I know is a terror, and that school is dead last on my last, but what about the other few dozen admins?
Obviously, this would make too much sense. I realize that, so stop laughing at me and my idea.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:09 am

I can't stop, I'm sorry. No, seriously, the District will try to fly under the radar and bring everybody back quietly so as not to expose themselves too much. All will be rehired at some point and there will be a shortage soon enough as there always is every year. Imhotep should be closed down, of course, plus ALL the other charters caught cheating. In fact, close them all because they all cheat and we all know it. It must be nice to always have certain politicians have your back be.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 11:30 am

I wouldn't count the promise academy vacancies in the total number of vacancies. For the most part, teachers in promise academies are forced transfers, so those spots do not represent "real vacancies." Those teachers are just getting shuffled around.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 12:40 pm

The District will try to shift folks where they can but I bet some will return to their previous schools too. In any case, I also bet everybody who was terminated will be back alive and kicking. I hear and I hope it is right that if Ackerman goes, all this scripted crap will go too. It may work for little kids but not for Middle School and above. The kids are embarrassed as am I.

Submitted by Paul Socolar on August 13, 2011 3:00 pm

I've updated the story with quotes from District spokesperson Jamilah Fraser and from Betsey Useem, a local expert on teacher hiring. Fraser says it looks like there are enough openings to bring back about 200 of the laid-off teachers. Useem warns of the effects of a late hiring process.

Submitted by imsteena (not verified) on August 13, 2011 3:27 pm

Do laid off teachers lose all seniority? Building and otherwise?

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 3:23 pm

I don't know about building seniority, but I do know that if you are rehired within a year you keep your district seniority (per contract, I think.)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:01 pm

Yes, you keep system seniority as long as you are recalled with a year. I am not sure about building seniority. The contract is specific about system seniority but not building.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:24 pm

WRONG--The contract is very specific about everything. Lawyers speak.

Submitted by TKN (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:09 pm

To the people claiming "I told you so"...

High schools that were empowerment schools were over staffed for the past two years due to common planning time and the A/B scheduling of English 1/2 and Algebra/Geometry. Staffing needs are not the same, cut roughly by 20%, stop giving false hope out.

I'm at a PA and we have been cut to 2008 staffing numbers, all before PA and empowerment nonsense.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:05 pm

Wrong again--you seem to have little or no experience with the District or you wouldn't be so quick to speak jibberish. All will be back at some point--ALL !! Yes, there are different needs for schools but the bottom line is the numbers of kids will remain the same so the need to have teachers will continue to be fluid. By the way, the District is ALWAYS short of walking, talking humans and that will occur happen in 3 weeks. Watch and Learn.

Submitted by TKN (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:25 pm

12 years in... Mainly as a roster chair, yano the person who knows why there are allotments and what purpose they serve. Again, the past three years the district has been on a hiring frenzy due to the above programs that have been cut, the new teachers hired were minimally due to enrollment numbers. I've seen back door deals you will never imagine. Please, don't call into question my knowledge, you clearly don't know why the latest batch were hired for (not including the PA teachers).

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:28 pm

The reason there are so many cuts in English and math is because of the A/B schedule and common planning time. TFA get a break with the cuts - they are hired in July to do their summer "student teaching" but don't get placed until late Aug./Sept. Regular hired have a later hire date. So, those who got "hit" hard were English and math in high schools. That said, principals always seem to be able to keep those they want to keep...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:40 pm

I agree.

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on August 14, 2011 11:53 am

Principals do get to keep those they really want to keep. There is a lot of funny business going on behind the scenes; it's been happening all summer and is ongoing. Someone please explain to me how a teacher at my school with LESS than a year in the district (came in October '10 when someone resigned) not only got called back from layoff in early July, but will be back to the same school as the principal who had a crush on him. The corruption is never ending. I actually called the union about this one, and was told "well, it must have been his particular cert." Interesting that posters here with that exact cert are wondering if they'll be called back at all. Why is no one looking at this, especially the union, which seems more and more to be just the b*tch of the SRC.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 12:59 pm

MAYDAY----Yes, there are exceptions but what you described is really unusual in my 30 years with the district. The Union better get tough or we're dead. Jordan is a weak leader in my opinion though not so weak as you describe. All unions are under attack and so all unions better stand as ONE. I am NOT convinced that Jordan is nearly strong enough especially during these challenging times. He's far too nice to be dealing with creeps like Ackerman and Archie.

Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on August 14, 2011 11:56 am

Principals do get to keep those they really want to keep. There is a lot of funny business going on behind the scenes; it's been happening all summer and is ongoing. Someone please explain to me how a teacher at my school with LESS than a year in the district (came in October '10 when someone resigned) not only got called back from layoff in early July, but will be back to the same school as the principal who had a crush on him. The corruption is never ending. I actually called the union about this one, and was told "well, it must have been his particular cert." Interesting that posters here with that exact cert are wondering if they'll be called back at all. Why is no one looking at this, especially the union, which seems more and more to be just the b*tch of the SRC.

Submitted by Paul Socolar on August 13, 2011 5:50 pm

Please be respectful to other commenters and don't use the cloak of anonymity to fling insults.

Yes, there are likely to be additional teachers brought back due to late retirements and resignations - those numbers could be in the hundreds, based on past experience. But the experienced District-watchers the Notebook has talked to are not predicting that all laid-off teachers will be rehired.

The actual bottom line is not the number of students - it's the number of teaching jobs in the District, and that number looks like it will end up being fewer than last year by 1,000 or more.

Submitted by gdgman3 on August 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Paul, do you think that there might be additional special education teachers called back on a rolling basis throughout the fall if money becomes available from the Feds or elsewhere?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 9:13 pm

All Special Ed. people will be called back. The District had NEVER before laid off special ed. folks. One of the strategies to show how perverse the budget is was to let people go who are so desperately needed by the kids.

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:57 pm

I agree with you. The school I was forced out of, a high school, was given four extra positions in the last year or two. It may have been stimulus money, I don't know. All four of those positions were cut this spring by the principal due to orders from 440 saying we had TOO MANY staff for our size. So this is probably a cut back to 2008 or so, as you say. Two of us had enough seniority to be forced transfers, two were laid off.

I've been bumped out due a building seniority situation related to one of the new hires, who came from a Promise Academy riffing. Our student numbers have stayed the same or shrunk only by a handful, so these cuts aren't related to student numbers. It's POSITIONS! It was an attempt, I think, to reduce some of the class sizes.

I don't know if other schools had the same experience, but I do know that those of us bumping around due to the position shrinkage will affect at least some of the rehiring. Sure, there will be call backs. But everyone? That's a bet I wouldn't take.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 4:38 pm

The whole issue with Maven and Ms. Shaw is a microcosm of Ackerman's antics. Shaw borrowed at least $90,000--and hoping to borrow $150,000 and didn't have to repay the loan. Gee, I wonder why !!!! Ackerman does this kind of stuff 24/7 and we all know it. The simps who still support her, must not be able or willing to focus at all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:04 pm

You're wrong--I'm a VP. Get over yourself. You have no idea what goes on above you nor, in your case, should you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 5:53 pm

Paul---Join the simps, Actually, you can run for President. You're completely wrong. Unless the contract is changed, it's about numbers of kids. Please don't even respond--I can take anymore.
'

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 1:20 am

I enjoy your chutzpah.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 4:08 pm

Dear veteran teacher: the PA state assembly passed a law this year in readiness for the new budget, that permits for the first time ever, teacher lay-offs for "economic" reasons, so that the number of kids enrolled no longer dictates, as it has for decades, the number of teachers. Perhaps your insistence that all teachers will be called back does not include an awareness of this change in the law?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 4:23 pm

Perhaps it does and I'm still telling you that all qualified teachers will be recalled at some point. The only way to not recall them would be to cancel the PFT Contract. It will take time but all will be called back.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:55 pm

I have a question: How many people were sent forced-transfer notices yesterday, and had no idea until they opened their emails that you had to go pick? Yep, opened email late last night to find that I was now considered a forced transfer and wouldn't get to pick until Aug. 24. I was not on the list until recently. Talk about a shocker!

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:29 pm

So, I'm unclear -- did you think you were laid off, or did you think you still had your regular position? I found out in late/May early June that I would be a forced transfer (nothing formal or official, which I found kind of incredible -- just the principal's word -- my position eliminated -- well actually someone else's eliminated but her building seniority trumped mine). I've been checking my email regularly all summer waiting for a chance to "go pick". (PFT even told me to have proxies ready to pick for me during my one week vacation, all for naught.)

I'm squarely in the middle of the "picking pack" (hee), so I'm also worried about what kind of situation I'll end up in. My high school wasn't perfect, but it also wasn't on the state's "persistently dangerous" list... !!

Submitted by Forced Transfer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 8:20 pm

I am confused. You said that "someone else's" position got eliminated, but her seniority trumped yours. What does that mean?

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 9:27 pm

We were both teaching the same subject, same level, though she had just been an addition to the staff this year (new position.) So even though I'd been there for years, her arrival with her building seniority (from losing her job at a newly created Promise Academy, and then coming into a new position at my school, which was subsequently eliminated in the spring due to budget cuts) allowed her to stay and forced me out. I'd say pretty much everybody, including the principal, was surprised by the way it turned out. But that's life. Now I'll be moving around with MY building seniority. If this keeps up, staffing may begin to resemble musical chairs on crack....

It's no teacher's fault, it's just the way the system is set up.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 1:43 am

IF? There's hardly a classroom in this district that isn't in the game of musical chairs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 18, 2011 9:48 am

I am in the same situation because of the promise academy i am a force transfer. I pick Sat.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:40 pm

I was told that I was NOT on the forced-transfer list that came out in late May (also just the principal's word). My position was safe and I left for the summer thinking I was going back to my school and position...... After I received the Jerry T Jordan's email in my personal account, I was thinking, "Wow, those poor folks who were forced transferred don't get to pick until next week!" When I checked my school email sometime after midnight, I found out that I was one of those "poor folks." I was just wondering if there are a lot of teachers in the same boat. Did anyone else leave for the summer thinking the position you held was safe and JUST YESTERDAY received notification of your "forced-transfer" status?

Submitted by anONymoUS tEACHer (not verified) on August 13, 2011 6:42 pm

I'm so sorry! Do check with HR to make sure it wasn't a mistake. Wishing you well!

Submitted by PhilaTeacher001 (not verified) on August 14, 2011 8:10 pm

You should immediately contact your principal to find out what's going on. If your principal didn't know this, he/she should call to find out what's up and get back to you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 15, 2011 12:52 am

I did contact my principal, and was told that we would look into it on Monday. Monday can't come soon enough. I was never asked to sign a retention form. Is this the standard policy for ALL teachers EVERY year who are coming back?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 7:48 pm

the same thing happened to me!!! has anyone heard anything about this???

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 14, 2011 9:36 pm

Our principal lied to everyone all year several different times. Pretended to fill out and turn in paperwork, didn't. Pretended to retain people, didn't. Refused to give signed copies back because he had no intention of actually following through.

You probably know if you can trust your principal at their word, but I hope you have a signed and dated copy of your retention request as well as the received, stamped copy from 440 in the mail.

So, if you have all that stuff, 440 messed up. If you don't, you may unfortunately be in for a surprise (as in, they never filed any of it and lied to you).

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