The Electric Commentary

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What happens to bad teachers?

According to The Atlantic Monthly, they just get moved around (subscription required, unfortunately):

There's plenty of debate about "school choice," but perhaps parents and other interested parties should worry more about "teacher choice—"that is, principals' ability to hire the best teachers they can find. A recent study from the New Teacher Project, which collected data on staffing at five major urban school districts around the country, discovered that 40 percent of teacher vacancies were filled by "voluntary transfers" (incumbent teachers exercising contract- mandated transfer options) and "excessed" teachers (teachers whose jobs were cut and who generally must, according to union rules, be hired before other candidates). According to the study, many of the teachers hired in these instances are "poor performers" and are "passed around from school to school instead of being terminated." Principals, of course, are unhappy about this state of affairs. In one district, 64 percent of principals at schools that added such teachers in the last year said that they wished they had not hired them, and 26 percent rated "all or almost all" of the excessed teachers who came on board as "unsatisfactory."

Unions: Protecting the unqualified from termination for over a century. Lovely.


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