I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Interesting Opinion Article from the LA Times on Teacher Reduction in Force

From today's LA Times

"A very troubling aspect of the layoff scenario is that if teachers are let go, it will be done by seniority. This means that an ineffective teacher on the job for three years gets to keep his or her job over a wonderful teacher who has been on the job for two years. This would be damaging to kids and devastating to the laid-off teachers, many of whom would seek out new professions. But the unions don't seem to care about teacher quality as much as longevity.
This archaic system is exacerbated by the tenure or "permanence" scheme insisted on by the unions. Under this set-up, once a teacher has been in a school for two years, he is essentially given a job for life. Getting rid of bad teachers is almost impossible. If we could dismiss poor teachers instead of being forced to keep them, the system would improve greatly. The next time a union official starts talking about "the children," please ask why the union insists on this system, which clearly does not benefit children."

The opinion article makes some really good points. When layoffs must occur, it would be nice to be able to keep the BEST teachers, based upon ability not years of service. This same system applies here in Escambia County if we have to reduce staff, meaning we have to re-hire the most senior teachers before we can consider newer ones. As the article states, this is the stage when a school system loses a lot of energetic, talented, passionate, and able teachers.

full article here,0,693417.story

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

keeping the best teachers would be nice, but sometimes the tenured teachers, the ones with experience are the best ones. Some credit should be given for senority.