Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another problem with public schools: Let's fire the effective teachers

Joanne Jacobs writes on What’s next for effective teachers?

Rated “highly effective” in the Los Angeles Times‘ analysis of value-added scores, fifth-grade teacher Miguel Aguilar faced jealousy from other teachers. Now he’s sharing his teaching techniques with his colleagues — and facing a layoff in the fall, reports the Times.

Many of Aguilar’s students — mostly low-income and Latino — started in the bottom 30% but scored well above average at the end of the year. By contrast, the teacher in the next classroom, John Smith, ranked among the district’s least effective teachers. Aguilar, who has eight years seniority, received a pink slip warning he may be laid off; Smith, with 15 years’ seniority, will keep his job, even if cuts are severe.

One of the problems with government schools is that seniority triumphs ability.  Here we have a teacher who is making a difference, but because schools have given into unions and granted a job for life once a teacher gets seniority, the good teacher will be fired and the bad teacher will be kept.

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