Tuesday, August 28, 2007

With Turnover High, Schools Fight for Teachers

A good NYT article about the difficulty schools nationwide are having recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, esp. in high-poverty schools.  Good to see at least some districts are willing to experiment with financial incentives.  It is completely insane that it's not the norm to pay math and science teachers more and pay teachers more for being willing to teach in the toughest schools.  But the biggest problem  is -- surprise! -- the dysfunctional systems.  The New Teacher Project's Tim Daly nails the problem:

Tim Daly, president of the New  Teacher Project, a group that helps urban districts recruit teachers, said attrition often resulted from chaotic hiring practices, because novice teachers are often assigned at the last moment to positions for which they have not even interviewed. Later, overwhelmed by classroom  stress, many leave the field.
Chicago and New York are districts that have invested heavily and worked with teachers unions in recent years to improve hiring and transfer policies, Mr. Daly said.
“But most of the urban districts have no coherent hiring strategy,” he  said. Many receive thousands of teacher applications in the spring but leave them unprocessed until principals  return from August vacations, when more  organized suburban districts  have already hired the most-qualified teachers,  he  said.
“There isn’t any maliciousness in this,” Mr. Daly  said, “it’s just a  conspiracy of dysfunction.”  


With Turnover High, Schools Fight for  Teachers
Published: August 27, 2007
www.nytimes.com/2007/08/27/education/27teacher.html <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/27/education/27teacher.html>

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The  retirement of thousands of baby boomer teachers coupled with the departure of  younger teachers frustrated by the stress of working in low-performing schools is fueling a crisis in teacher turnover that is costing school districts substantial amounts of money as they scramble to fill their ranks for the fall  term.

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