Teachers: "Last In, First Out" Hurts Weaker Schools

2c6639297324f4253460a29f782a220eef8014a1How do we avoid losing the best teachers rather during the coming budget cuts, and strengthen the faculties at schools that have traditionally had fewer effective instructors?  Those are the questions that come to mind reading a pair of stories on the topic of teachers, funding, and quality.  The first is from the LA Times, noting that "quality-blind" layoffs ruined some great schools and disadvantaged schools in especially poor areas (When layoffs come to L.A. schools, performance doesn't count) and that efforts to revisit seniority and layoff rules have mostly failed.  The second article, via the Hechinger Report, notes that a slew of efforts to persuade proven veterans to go to (or stay at) weak schools have failed, and the remaining options are uncertain (Trying to steer strong teachers to weak schools).  What to do?  

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  • It seems to me that the issue Alexander is raising will to a big degree be decided by the 7th Cir Court of Appeals in relation to the case the CTU won the injunction in. Given the potential level of layoffs CPS could be faced in FY 2012 with if it does not reopen the CTU contract, and likely even if the contract were reopened and teachers agreed not to take a pay increase, schools can not be protected against adverse impact from layoffs.

    We need only look at where the Cook County Government is going right now. It is very possible all County units could lose 21% of their budgets as the new County Board President said yesterday.

    If this is what comes to CPS with a $5.1 billion budget we are talking about a cut of $1.07 billion. If that is how bad it gets, then we can forget about protecting classrooms. By the way there is not one Mayoral candidate publicly stating they would authorize CPS to even raise property taxes to the cap and if they do not back track on this issue we could be looking at doomesday. With Mayor Daley gone the chickens are coming home to roost.

    Rod Estvan

  • I agree completely, but you don't go far enough. Along with the old, jaded, burn-outs, we also need to get rid of the newbies that are on their cell phones, blackberries, and computers all day when their attention should be on their students. I know they mean well, but their obvious lack of classroom management experience is killing the rest of us. Their ambition far outpaces their actual teaching skills, so can't we give them something to do down on Clark Street???

  • How do I know newbies aren't sending lessons via Blackberry to homebound students? Perhaps thy are -- unfortunately, their students can't afford Blackberries or computers that would "catch" such assignments, ergo, they are sending said assignnments into the vast ether void. Thanks for the excellent example of why TFA'ers are not ready for prime time.

  • Please. At least make it difficult for the BOARD OF ED to "divide and conquer" the teaching force and its Union.

    When we divide ourselves into various opposing groups, we just make it that much easier for our adversaries.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Right, Danny. The professionals at CO never disagree with each other. Go to bed.

  • They don't? My cousin's son was sent home from Kindergarten because he arrived not knowing his ABCs, any shapes, colors, etc. If that school district (Cumberland County #77) can do that, why can't CPS? It's in IL, too. Are there different rules for different school districts?

  • It's moot now. That was 3 or 4 years ago! Now that parents are "redshirting" their children on purpose, it may not have harmed him at all. He's not really excelling though, just hanging in there with Cs.

  • Well, his Fa's not really in the picture anymore and his Ma was, well, never the brightest bulb in the pack. His grandmother is rearing him now.

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