Posts Tagged 'Open Market'

UFT Members: How to transfer on Open Market and not end up with an abusive administration

It’s late May and slowly but surely, positions are starting to list on the DOE’s Open Market system. UFT members can use this system to seek out transfer opportunities within the NYC public school system. Teachers who do this keep their pay, seniority, and tenure (as long as they work under the same license under which it was granted.)  Now, I have my criticisms of Open Market. It should not be the UFT’s go to solution for dealing with abusive administration. And, the City’s adaptation of a ‘unit costing’ model makes it very difficult for teachers with more years in the system (i.e. – higher pay) to find principals willing to hire them. New Action and UFC have both called for changes in transfer policy, including bringing back some form of ‘seniority transfers.’ Nevertheless, Open Market as currently constituted is the system we have, so it’s worth discussing how to use it right.

Seeking out schools that are hiring

Using the Open Market transfer plane, you can transfer this year from April 19 to August 8 at 5:00 PM. However, keep in mind that not all schools will post to Open Market right away. There are often budgetary issues that prevent principals from putting up vacancies, even when they know for a fact that they will have them. For that reason, it can be a good move to email principals at schools you know are good fits for you with queries as to whether they are hiring. You may discover that your dream school really does have a position available, that it just isn’t up yet. Just be cautious to accept an offer without a signature. You do hear of schools who thought they were going to be able to hire, but then got bad news on budget or discovered that a teacher whose position was becoming vacant opted not to retire/transfer. In the end: you haven’t actually been accepted to a job until you’ve signed the papers and gotten a confirmation email from the ‘Transfer Plane.’

If you don’t have schools in mind, all you can do is go with the list of schools available. Some teachers make their own crowd-sourced lists, or you can just go with the official list on Open Market. An AP friend of mine used to always say that ‘good schools hire early.’ Of course, less than good schools also hire early, and better schools will still have sudden vacancies in July and August. But it’s true that you can tell a lot about a school from how they administer the hiring process. Take note of how many teachers are involved, and how much power they seem to have in making decisions relative to principals. Look for green and red flags in how principals answer your questions. Keep in mind, however, that hiring often looks very different depending on when you apply for a position. Typically, if you apply early, i.e. when schools are still in session (before Regents for high schools), principals interested in hiring you will ask candidates to come in and do a demonstration or ‘demo lesson.’ Try your best to schedule such demos before/after school, so you don’t have to deal with the anxiety and risk of illicitly taking a day off from work for what is ironically an inter-department transfer. I was once taken out of the running for a job for refusing to do this, but I digress. If you wait until July or early August to apply, it’s doubtful you’ll be asked to jump through so many hoops. Another good friend of mine used to say, ‘wait until the end of summer to apply, when schools are scrambling!’ If you aren’t a fan of demo lessons or second and third interviews, there’s some truth there. Just make sure you are still doing your due diligence.

Research and Data

If you aren’t sure whether a school will be a good fit for you, it’s good idea to do some research. UFT scrapped PINI, which included a list of principals in need of improvement. (New Action is in the process of recreating such a list, but that’s still in the works). So, there’s no official place to see where schools will definitely be a bad fit. But, there is tons of public data out there. Remember those surveys teachers and students take each year? You can use websites like insideschools to see some of the results, or go straight to the source here. One of the most important pieces of data you will find is on whether teachers think the principal is trustworthy or a good manager. If you see bad results here, you might want to pause and do some more research. Keep in mind that there are limitations to this data. Teachers don’t always fill out surveys (leading to extremely small sample sizes). Others, fearing that their answers aren’t anonymous, end up ‘rounding up’ their responses. And of course, if principals have recently left, you may be looking at data from a previous administration – meaning the data is likely useless for your purposes. Keep factors like this in mind as you look at data, but do look at data if you’re seeking to transfer to a school of which you know little to nothing. It could save you a world of trouble.

And remember that there is no substitute for speaking to actual teachers who work at the schools you’re considering. I chose the school I currently work at – a very good fit – based on conversations I had with a diverse group of teachers who work there.

So good luck with your transfer search, New Action members, and if you’re interested in hearing more about our idea to re-create a PINI list, make sure to come to the NAC general meeting on May 30 at 5:30 PM.


Support the I Refuse Resolution

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the February 2015 Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: February 2015 Leaflet (Front) and (back)


New Action supports putting the I Refuse Resolution on this afternoon’s agenda. To be clear, the “I Refuse” speaks to supporting parents who opt their children out of State testing. It does not speak to teachers refusing to do any part of their jobs. Additionally, New Action supports widely distributing the NYSUT “Opt Out of State Tests Fact Sheet” to educate members and parents about rights and consequences vis a vis state testing.

Some Urgent issues for today – Teacher Evaluation

(from an updated version of the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2014 Chapter Leaders’ Meeting).
For a printable version click: Fall 2014 Leaflet Front and back

New Action has opposed the Teacher Evaluation System since its inception.

Rating teachers based on the Danielson model look like the “checklist” we used to decry. Tying evaluation to student test scores is inherently arbitrary and unfair.

Yet this is the system in place. What should we do?

The union worked with Fariña to creating additional observation options. The new contract reduced the number of items we are rated on. These are positive changes.

But we need more. State law linking ratings to student test scores should be amended. “Developing” ratings have consequences – including getting passed over for transfers. We need the right to appeal D’s. And we need a process for questioning the principal’s judgment BEFORE the final rating.

Content Policy

Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
June 2023