Beyond Simple Cost Cutting
Two articles of interest today. First, an editorial I co-wrote in today's PI:
The district will get into detailed specifics for cutting costs. We'd love to see them give equal attention to the improvements they seek. For instance, they say they want to make all neighborhood schools great. We all have opinions on that, but what exactly do they plan to do for the struggling schools? I'd like to see them write down the details so we can comment, and more importantly, so we can identify where we can participate and how we can hold them accountable to it. They've got the stick down... now we need the carrot.
I'd love to hear additional thoughts on what the district could do to make you more confident in the schools you may be forced to choose from (due to closure, overcrowding, or changes to the assignment plan).
And here's an interesting article from today's New York Times:
The head of DC's public schools is looking to eliminate tenure protection for poor performing teachers. It's interesting to think about what will happen in Seattle as schools get closed. Many schools (those on the closure list and not) are harboring some poor performing teachers. Are new teachers going to get pushed aside to make room for displaced teachers whose schools are closed, even for teachers who are known poor performers? Could a proposal against tenure ever fly in Seattle? I'm torn on this issue because I believe strong teachers deserve protection (so they can't get fired for speaking out against the district, for instance). But, I also think that most teachers know who their weaker peers are, and I wish the union would do something to help with that situation. Teaching at its best is a team activity, and no teacher wants to inherit kids who are lagging behind because one of their peers is a poor teacher. Yet, we all see that happening every year.