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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Seniority vs. performance

I wrote an op-ed that will run in today's Seattle Times:

Many of us are upset to see yet another round of layoffs where, due to the current agreement with the teachers union, the decisions do not take performance into account at all -- only straight seniority.  Would any of us run our own businesses this way?

This is one of the big reasons CPPS (www.cppsofseattle.org) has been trying to put a spotlight on the contract negotiations that are going on right now.

36 comments:

wseadawg said...

With all due respect for your willingness to get involved, I find your piece to grossly oversimplify what is a complex problem, while borrowing heavily from the rhetoric of McKinsey's Studies and Neo-Liberal Education Reformers who's philosophies I do not believe apply in Seattle.

While you argue that performance ought to matter as much or more than seniority, your facts don't reveal anything beyond the fact that you like your kids teachers and don't want to see them laid off. Does that indicate a systematic problem or failure? Do you know the senior teachers that will replace your preferred teachers are less qualified, or less "effective" (Michell Rhee and Wendy Kopp's favorite term)? Your piece provides scant facts in support of your anti-union position.

Furthermore, as soon as you wade into the performance/effectiveness arguments, you embrace standardization models, unless you advocate a different way to measure a teacher's performance (their popularity with parents?) What parent that likes their child's teacher won't believe that teacher is the best of the lot? Can we objectively measure teacher performance in public schools as we can monthly gross receipts for a business? Is that a sensible and thoughtful comparison? I see alot of problems in opening that can of worms.

While union rules may protect slackers or "ineffective teachers," I have yet to see a simple remedy that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Experience counts and a 55 year old teacher's wisdom is of immeasurable value compared to simply imparting information that raises standardized test scores, for example.

I invite this debate and the opportunity to further study and investigate the "big changes" our School Board promises over the coming years. I hope we can avoid inappropriate analogies and parroting of modern education reformers' language, not all of whom hold our children's best interests on par with that of privatization groups that see public education as the next pot of taxpayer gold to loot.

anonymous said...

Thanks Andrew, for getting the "Seniority VS. Performance" issue some much needed publicity. We all appreciate it.

zb said...

Though I'm not a particular fan of the seniority systems often favored in union rules, I think the rub here is how "performance" will be measured. I do think parents think that switching to performance measures means that they (well, at least the "involved" parents) will get to pick the teachers during RIFs. I, a "un-involved" parent, who thinks that teachers have to be careful to spread their teaching among all the children, including the ones with uninvolved parents, and to give the kids what they need (not just what their parents want) do not see a switch to "loud parents get to pick the teachers" as an improvement.

I don't like seniority, either, especially when it is applied with no other constraints, at least partially because it is a serious barrier to new entrants. New teachers who move to the Seattle, even with significant experience elsewhere (to the extent that seniority is beneficial to teaching, seniority elsewhere should matter, no?), avoid SPS, because of they'll be entering a system with teachers with far more applicable seniority.

This is an issue that we should discuss, but not with a "you're wrong I'm right" attitude. One thing to remember is the number of excellent teachers who still support the seniority system. I think they need to be listened to, because in some cases, they are making their choice out of a recognition of how "performance" based valuations can create bad outcomes, not just for them, but for the school.

Charlie Mas said...

The breakdown with discussions of relative teacher performance comes in the absence of acceptable measures of teacher performance.

We all know that standardized test scores alone are inadequate. We all know that the subjective principal evaluations alone are inadequate. Value-added data is promising, but it, too relies on narrow academic tests.

I suppose we could develop some sort of weighted set of multiple measures including value-added data, a more professional supervisor evaluation based on a set of objectively measurable data points, and a 360 degree review, but it adds a ton of administration to what is already an administration-heavy enterprise.

On top of that we have the simple fact that a better teacher, while it improves the outcome for the students and the society, does not alter the outcome for the school or the district. Rather than a better teacher, the school and the district are actually incented to have a lower salary teacher.

In the private sector, a better employee earns more money because the better employee makes more money for the company. In the public sector there is no such profit motive. A school district's revenue for a class of 30 is the same regardless of which teacher is in front of it. The District has no reason to pay any teacher with a class of 30 any more than any other teacher with a class of 30. In fact, the District could (and, some might argue, should) replace the experienced teachers making $70,000 teachers with two inexperienced teachers making $35,000 and reduce class sizes by half.

Since that is clearly where the District's financial incentive lies, the teachers need some protection against getting fired just as they start to earn some real money. Thus, the seniority rules.

Private sector models simply don't apply.

Let's also consider the disproportionate distribution of senior teachers at schools with affluent populations. Teachers are paid the same to teach at a high poverty school as at a low poverty school. Many of them find the work more pleasant and less frustrating at the low poverty schools, so the ones at the high poverty schools are looking to move and the ones at low poverty schools are looking to stay. As a consequence, teachers - as a trend - migrate, during their careers, from high poverty schools to low poverty schools. It also means that low poverty schools have more experienced teachers and high poverty schools have more new teachers. That's if they stay in teaching at all for more than five years.

So the seniority system also supports stability for the low poverty schools and instability for the high poverty schools.

hschinske said...

"In fact, the District could (and, some might argue, should) replace the experienced teachers making $70,000 teachers with two inexperienced teachers making $35,000 and reduce class sizes by half."

Yeah, but they'd need twice as many rooms. You can't just have two teachers in a room and expect that to truly halve the class size in any meaningful sense.

Helen Schinske

seattle citizen said...

I went to Evergreen, which famously has different methodologies of both teaching and assessment (interdisciplinary studies, where a student takes one program in a quarter or two quarters, instead of three separate classes each quarter - instead of taking, say, art, history and literature, the student takes a themed program that studies its subject through the lenses of art, history and literature; and narrative assessment, where at the end of the program, the quarter, the student writes about a page and the professor writes about a page, each detailing successes and failures in teh student's efforts that quarter.)
This system was qualitative to the nth degree: very hard to quantify inputs and outcomes.
I served for a year on the Assessment Study Group: the state wanted to institute nationally-normed, stanardized tests to evaluate teaching (these would be anonymous tests taken by all rising juniors.) The state was ready to go: it wanted accountability for the taxpayers. ALL the provosts of the seven state colleges stood up and asked for time to study the issue, and were granted a year. Hence the study groups.
(I was the only student in our group; while I actively tried to recruit others, most were busy protesting out front, complaining about the horrible state and its horrible standardization, go figure...)
So we discussed very interesting ways to assess alternatively. We spent hours looking at various portfolios, evidence of independent learning, etc etc...
We, and the other schools, were successful in convincing the state that such a standardized measure in no way assessed learning in all its permutations.
The point (finally! Yea!)is that during the course of this study group, where I worked with professors and admins, it came out, quietly and somewhat reluctantly, that they had known for years that as many as thirty percent of Evergreen students "slid through": Because of the nature of the education and assessment, students could coast. Some professors could coast, too (but would ever suffer the askance glances of the students and their colleagues both)But even with this large amount of students not getting what they could in their four years, professors and admins KNEW that in order to bring that up to, say, 95% "success" they would have to change EVERYTHING: The system as it was constructed meant that some would not take advantage and use their years there wisely, but to change the system, to lose the interdisciplinary education and the narrative evaluations would mean that the 70% who excelled with it would lose that opportunity.
There WILL be bad teachers. There WILL be umotivated students. We do what we can to help these people out, but must we dismantle our system of liberal education in order to produce some data points? Must we standardize the whole dang thing in order to cull out the ineffective ten percent, the unmotivated ten percent?
What a loss THAT would be.

seattle citizen said...

...which leads to: how do we measure the unmeasureable? How do we determine if an educator helped a student, twenty years later, produce a work of art so personally satisfying that the student's life was enhanced forever? How do we know when an educator, in some teachabe moment, throws out an off-the-cuff ad hominen that the student takes in, reflects upon, and later acts upon, thereby avoiding that fight after school, thereby finding the will to emerge from the culture of fighting he had grown up, thereby moving on to bigger and better things?
What are our metrics for performance? GLEs? The Bill or Rights? Responsibility and honesty?
What should our educators be teaching, and what is the measure of success for each of these?

In WV world, to learn these things is a nessesty before we go hiring and firing those who make education our children their mission and career.

seattle citizen said...

..uh, EDUCATING our children...
ahem

wseadawg said...

Get to know the McKinsey Group. They are the source of the "class size doesn't matter" and "effective teachers and principals are the keys," vs. health, nutrition, family support, anti-poverty programs, etc.

The national narrative, embraced by Arne Duncan and Obama, is to conveniently put all the problems with education on the backs of teachers and especially teachers unions. Joel Klein, chancellor of New York Schools says "effective teachers and principals" are the key to closing the achievement gap, without citing poverty, broken homes, health, nutrition, etc. as factors in a child's education.

Union Teachers are the latest target for the pro-business/pro-free market union busters efforts. Merit pay, proficiency tests, etc. and the unwavering belief that competition would be good for public school teachers to engage in drives it all.

Can we imagine the back-biting, undermining of each others' efforts, destruction of team cohesion and the detriment toward classroom instruction caused by our teachers being pre-occupied with "competition" among one another?

Again, do we want our public schools run like a business? At the administrative level, certainly. Within the school walls? No way.

One must remember that all public institutions have an INVOLUNTARY relationship with the public. They must take what comes through the door.

A business can choose who it wants to do business with. So the comparison of how a business would run is based on a false presumption from the get-go.

Gouda said...

I'm so frustrated when I hear "we can't measure the immeasurable". Why is it that in this District we believe that there is no way to do proper teacher assessment. Hundreds of school districts around the country do it.

And don't tell me that principals don't know their effective and better teachers from their ineffective ones.

I've had enough friends who are administrators and teachers, and all of them know which teachers need more training or just need to move on.

The seniority system is ridiculous. It needs to go.

Thanks Andrew for that piece and for calling it like it is.

seattle citizen said...

There are things we can measure. There are things we cannot. Which would YOU measure, just-a-mom, and how would you do it?

seattle citizen said...

"Hundreds of school districts around the country do [proper teacher assessments]."

Please cite the districts and the assessments used.

Thank you!

seattle citizen said...

On an unrelated note, there is an article on the virtual PI about principal assignments:
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/406394_principals20.html

Sue said...

I think the current system needs to change. I think their must be a better way to manage layoffs than straight seniority. What that way is, and the metrics involved in designing the system, I am not sure.

I do know that most parents feel that there needs to be a change in this system, most principals feel that there needs to be a change in this system, but it seems that the teacher's union (note I said union , not individual teachers)are the ones who feel that there can be no change in the system.

I am not hopeful. This is a hard situation. I know that for my kids this year, it is some of the best and most enthusiastic teachers who are being let go because of the seniority thing. And I know that there are other teachers who are just phoning it in until retirement, who are keeping their jobs. And the kids themselves know that, especially at the middle and high schools. They are questioning the system as well.

And there is no way to make meaningful change in the system as things exist now. There needs to be common ground, but I fear that the SEA will not be willing to even explore this, because of their distrust of the district, and that means we have an unfortunate situation on our hands.

suep. said...

Another point to remember in all this is that the reason 200 (some young, great) teachers have just been laid off in SPS is not because of the teacher's union -- it is the Superintendent who is doing it. Complain to her.

The District has rainy day funds and federal education funding coming -- it does not need to cripple our schools with these draconian measures.

So why is she doing it?

It is disappointing to see organizations like CPPS buy into the current "reformista" dogma, explained well by wseadawg, that demonizes teachers for all the ills of public education. As if socioeconomic factors play no part at all. As if the chronic underfunding of public education has nothing to do with it.

That's a cop-out and a politically motivated one at that, funded by private interests (follow the money -- it leads to the Broad Foundation and Gates Foundation, even to CPPS).

Yes, there should be a way to address ineffective teachers. Surely there is some system in place to do this -- it would be great for a teacher on this blog to explain this process, since we're not going to get the whole picture from the Seattle Times and apparently not from CPPS.

I also object to the implication that older teachers are weaker than younger teachers. What rot. Enthusiasm is a valuable fuel but not enough alone to create a great teacher. Experience definitely has its merits. A combination of both is ideal.

The fact that teachers who have dedicated their lives to the profession are compensated for this dedication is fine with me. The fact that new teachers are not offered a great starting salary is not okay.

It also opens the door to a troubling incentive in which a School District and Superintendent will be tempted to get rid of more experienced teachers who earn more, and bring in younger teachers they can underpay.

That's what I suspect some of this union-busting rhetoric is about.

Our school districts are mismanaged and chronically underfunded, and when they do get money, where does it go? Funneled to never-ending projects like Garfield High School, while other schools are starved of resources and forced to close because their buildings are falling apart.

By the way, "last in, first out" is a policy that's common in other fields. It's not some bizarre invention of the teacher's union.

seattle citizen said...

The union is just that, the union of the rank and file into an economic negotiating power. Sure, it's got problems (and of course, management NEVER has problems! The current problems in the economy were SURELY caused by those darn unions...)
The union is, in the pure sense, its members: the educators.
It's not just problems with the DISTRICT that educators (and their union) see: it's problems with the national trends towards bad educational policy. Education is not Reading, Writing and Math, it's so much more. Yet educators are being made the scapegoats for all the ills in the world (the US) and to what end? Surely some would see that education is a rich and varied thing, yet there are many who believe it should be standardized and made into an assembly line. Why would ANYONE believe that educations is merely the three Rs, yet that is what is sold as the be-all and end-all of education.
Educators are not averse to being evaluated. But educators ARE averse to being evaluated so people with agendas can tear the whole thing apart and substitute a system that doesn't teach.
Educators, as whole (and the union IS educators: many of the leaders come from the ranks of teachers and classified) CARE ABOUT CHILDREN AN EDUCATION and don't want children to suffer as the national trends swing to and fro, from "new idea" to "new idea", or even to "let Edison Corp. do it; it's cheaper." Children have lots of instability in their lives already: for some, schools are the safest, warmest, most stable place they know. They don't need revolving "best practices" changing teh game every three years; they don't need teachers cycling through as the old ones become too expensive and the young ones come cheap...

SolvayGirl said...

Well said Gavroche. My husband is a City Employee; he is not in a union. But, were the city to lay off people in his department, seniority would determine who goes. It's a difficult call. But it's the ONLY way the City can absolutely say they followed policy and protect their decision. ANY other system could open it up to lawsuits.

Public employees who do not have profit as a measure of their worth are in a gray area of determining merit. Sure, some managers might recognize who their stars are...but some may not. Some staff are well aware of ineffective managers...etc.

But when public employees can claim discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc...) when they are laid off, the only non-contestable (last in/first out) policy reins. It's a sad reality for sure.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I thought Andrew made some good points but I do see the problem of being able to, objectively, explain why Teacher A over Teacher B without using seniority.

But I don't think it's an impossible "can't be done" problem. And I think change is coming from Obama and Sec'y Duncan. Compromise and consensus might be the order of the day.

My main issue is if I saw that the union was making an effort to make the process of weeding out ineffective teachers (and I use that word to avoid words like "bad, awful and useless"), then I would say we didn't need a huge measurement system for all teachers(unless we go to merit pay another issue altogether). But I have seen, personally, how difficult and lengthy it is to get rid of an ineffective teacher at a school (and frankly, I don't want any of these teachers to just move but to leave entirely). It is just wrong and from a parent's point of view, frustrating.

I would resist any efforts at union-busting but I would like to see the teachers' union work on this issue.

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

@wseadawg: I'm not pushing an agenda of "McKinsey's Studies and Neo-Liberal Education Reformers -- I don't even know what you're talking about. I'm just a parent who would like to see our public schools succeed and I'm reacting based on what I hear people all around me (across the city) have been upset about. Yes, the editorial (limited to 600 words) is of course a simplification of the problem. But, it starts a discussion. And while I agree that it is hard to measure performance, I believe there are much more creative things to do than just give up on trying. If you re-read my editorial -- I'm not against seniority -- I'm just against using it as the ONLY measure. Let the union decide what is a fair measure -- that would be fine with me. But let's not kid ourselves into thinking we're doing kids a service by avoiding this topic. Even if you said teachers with 5+ years of experience can't be RIF'ed during layoffs, that would be a improvement on the current policy. Or do you still feel strongly it is better for students AND teachers if we retain a mediocre teacher with 1.5 years of experience but fire an outstanding teacher with 1 year of experience? The cost savings from avoiding lawsuits mentioned by SolvayGirl is a tangible counterargument, though I agree with her that it's sad when legal fears guide policy.

cas said...

At my school, parents cannot name the teacher they want for their child. Why? Because all would choose one teacher for at least three grades. All of the teachers are wonderful people, who mean well, but there are many wonderful people who are not the best and most effective teachers.

Parents know who the effective teachers are. Some have been around forever and some are new.

Merit combined with seniority seems a good way to choose, but parents talk, we all know who is effective.

Some of us leave the school if we get two "ineffective" teachers in a row.

Should our children pay to keep these teachers happy, employed? At some point our children's need to learn must trump "teacher's rights."

zb said...

"Or do you still feel strongly it is better for students AND teachers if we retain a mediocre teacher with 1.5 years of experience but fire an outstanding teacher with 1 year of experience?"

Well, the reason why this isn't so obvious is that we have to have some way of deciding that one teacher is mediocre while the other is outstanding, other, than, say, letting you decide. Do I get to decide? I don't even know if I'd want that power, since I'm pretty sure that the most I could do was decide if the teacher was "excellent" v "mediocre" for my own, rather atypical, and easy to teach child.

anonymous said...

What could we use to measure a teachers performance?

How about commendations, certifications, and recognition by professional associations and peers?

Example:
"Alan Bruns, Kellogg Social Studies Teacher, Honored by the Museum of History and
Industry as The Outstanding History Educator of the Year."

Not that we aren't proud of Mr. Bruns, but it was no surprise to any of us parents that he was recognized as the outstanding teacher that he is. Surely this type of unsolicited recognition should be quantitative in a teachers portfolio/resume.

Here are a few more:

Using the need for disciplinary actions taken by the principal as part of an evaluation.

How about chronic complaints from parents over the course of several years, or on the opposite side of the fence frequent praise for and requests for that teacher by parents.

How about test scores? Do the test scores go up for the students in the class (from last year), or do they stay stagnant? Do they go down?

What about a teachers initiative? Are they enrolling in continuing education? Collaborating with peers? Are they willing to explore new or innovative approaches?

What about having students fill out a survey ranking that teacher/class? How about parents filling out surveys on a teachers class?

What about tracking what the kids do the year following leaving a class? Are they prepared for their next class? Do they go on to honors classes or need remedial attention? Where did they come from and where did they go to? Did they make progress, stagnate, or regress?

I believe that these are a few things that we can use to evaluate a teachers performance. You may not agree with all of the them but hopefully you can knowledge that there are ways to evaluate a teachers performance.

We (parents) all know who the "bad" teachers are. We know the teachers to avoid. The principal knows them too. We also all know who the "great" teachers are!
It is apparent to us. Surely we can come up with some form of evaluation....besides how many years you have worked at SPS.

BullDogger said...

This is an important discussion and I believe better models could be created if people in power (SEA and the District) want to work and make it happen.

Fairness to teachers is important but fairness to students is also. My rule of thumb is at any time one of my child's 6 teachers will be ineffective. Too often these instructors have many years of experience and families from years ago saying "is that person still there?".

How do private schools handle this issue? Non-union districts? How does Boeing and the Engineer/Technical union (SPEEA) make a merit based system work without being buried in legal issues? These, and more, are questions to ask. Thanks Andrew for helping to start this discussion.

seattle citizen said...

Yes, adhoc, there are surely ways to evaluate, and you mentioned some good ones.
But this should be an ongoing part of the year, and not come due at lay-off time.
Imagine a good system of evaluation. When do you use it? Only when the knife is poised to fall, or all the time?
Of course you use it all the time. So, the evaluation is onoging, action is taken accordingly (fire, change positions to where a teacher is more effective, retrain....whatever) and thereby the teachers (and classifieds and admins and District employees) are, supposedly, qualified.
THEN comes lay-off time. What else but seniority would pertain? If all the staff is qualified, then seniority is the only way.

Unknown said...

I think the idea of trying to fire expensive teachers to replace them with cheaper ones is a red herring.

School districts get reimbursed for the costs of a teacher based on a state salary schedule that accounts for education level and years experience. Granted that most districts have bargained a somewhat different schedule, but the reimbursment model the state has still is the way they give out the money. So there is no incentive for a district to avoid hiring "costly" experienced teachers.

Of course, the state doesn't pay 100% of the salary, but it is still most of the salary. That is why so often negotiations break down over a percent here or there, or a single paid day. The amount that is actually bargainable is quite limited.

Oh - and teachers are evaluated based on 8 state criteria, which can include data from test scores. If they are found lacking in 2 of the criteria, there is a probationary period, after which they can be non-renewed. Of course, there are procedures for resolving disagreement about the interpretation of the data gathered.

In my experience, few principals (who are obviously overworked) bother to go through all of the paperwork to document poor performance. The time, as well as the emotional hell that it can cause in a community are a big cost.

And by the way, this "insider" has seen plenty of examples of high energy, well loved, completely ineffective teachers, as well as ignored, disrespected but highly effective teachers. There is no easy correlation, without somebody gathering data. And that takes huge amounts of time that nobody has.

seattle citizen said...

Tim, districts work with the state: couldn't there be a situation where the state said, hey, you have to cut costs, we can't afford these big-buck teachers you have?

wseadawg said...

Andrew: I appreciate your position, but maybe distinguishing between "seniority" and "tenure" would've helped. I agree that 2 years to tenure is too short, but I didn't see that in your article.

The problem I have with many of your statements is how closely they track the rhetoric of the national education reformers nationwide, who I fear would bring ruin to our district.

You state: "Many studies have shown what we parents already know to be true: The most significant determination of a student's success is the quality of his or her teacher." The MOST significant?

If you aren't getting that from McKinsey Group research, then where do you get it? Joel Klein, Chancellor of NY Schools said the same thing about 3 weeks back, citing (erroneously), a McKinsey Research Group report that supposedly concluded that. David Brooks of the NYT has gone so far as to say Charter and Reform efforts have "eliminated the achievement gap" in Harlem, ignoring completely the tens of millions of dollars invested into non-school community services in the area, as though they made no difference in student performance. Utter nonsense, pushing an agenda.

Many studies going back decades show that the support kids get outside of school, parental involvement, community support, nutrition, proper sleep, have more to do with educational performance than the quality of the teacher.

I think you'd have to agree that both count for alot, so focusing solely on teachers contracts and demonizing their union isn't going to result in the overall improvements we want.

I don't want to demean your efforts. You've sparked a healthy, and badly needed dialogue. I've been impressed with CPPS as a sincere group, not fronting anyone's agenda. But I worry about any nationally affiliated community groups being mistakenly recruited or co-opted into supporting causes that might not be entirely their own.

If you looked into McKinsey/Gates/Broad/Annenberg, etc., you would know what I was talking about and understand my concerns and probably share alot of them.

For now, I thank you for kicking off a very healthy dialogue.

GiGi said...

Teachers who are ineffective, “phoning it in”, and complained about by parents should be given performance improvement plans as part of the general operating procedure of a school, but not RIF’d due to budget cuts.

I have no issue with senior teachers being kept over new hires. I think that actually is standard with other industries. My issue is with the protection of problem teachers (including those with seniority) by the union contract throughout the school year.

The people on this post who say that “every parent knows that (one specific teacher) is the best” don’t really speak for the entire parent population or student body. I personally can’t stand the teacher who was chosen outstanding educator at my child’s school this year, although other parents simply love her.

My child’s teacher may not have produced the highest test scores in the district, but she has produced a classroom full of kids who are excited about learning and feel good about going to school. I don’t know how to quantify that. If teachers really are incented over high test scores or improved test scores, there will be all sorts of negative unintended consequences, including teachers trying to get rid of “problem” children.

BadgerGal said...

Charlie Mas said "As a consequence, teachers - as a trend - migrate, during their careers, from high poverty schools to low poverty schools. It also means that low poverty schools have more experienced teachers and high poverty schools have more new teachers. That's if they stay in teaching at all for more than five years.

So the seniority system also supports stability for the low poverty schools and instability for the high poverty schools."


Can you help me with the data for this statement? Our school, which I am sure many would categorize as low poverty, lost 3x their "fair share" of the total RIF'd elmentary teachers in this RIF. Is it because the high poverty schools were protected from RIFs (thinking back to a previous post)

For me the hardest part is process. All three teachers impacted by the RIF at our school are amazing. AND they have been told they will likely have a placement in the fall, just not at our school based on the way the re-placement process works as retirements and resignations play out. Where is the logic in that??? Talk about an upheaval for the kids and the school community. One teacher interacts with all the kids (music) and the other two are specially trained in writers workshop and train/work with other teachers and kids in addition to their classrooms.

I'd be much more willing to accept the seniority/tenure argument if it didn't come with a ridiculous game of musical chairs attached. These teachers should have first right back to their "old positions" if they are indeed going to pulled out the pool in the fall.

suep. said...

Why are the teachers being laid off at all? How much money will it really save? This is insane. Why should we passively accept this? I hear there is a protest at tonight's School Board meeting if anyone's interested in voicing their discontent/outrage over all this irrational and destructive upheaval.

(WV: dence. Yes, the management of this district really is.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know in my husband's department at UW, he and the other professors have to hand out surveys to students about EVERY class they teach. Those remarks/scores go into every professor's record and yes, are part of performance review. Now, college students are likely (hopefully?)more mature and capable of this than middle/elementary but I think high school students can certainly answer survey questions.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know in my husband's department at UW, he and the other professors have to hand out surveys to students about EVERY class they teach. Those remarks/scores go into every professor's record and yes, are part of performance review. Now, college students are likely (hopefully?)more mature and capable of this than middle/elementary but I think high school students can certainly answer survey questions.

Charlie Mas said...

BadgerGal asks: "Can you help me with the data for this statement? "

Funny thing, the data for this statement comes from a study done by Dr. Marguerite Roza, the person from the Center on Reinventing Public Education who will speaking at the CPPS annual meeting on May 26 (see earlier post in this blog).

You can read her report on this very topic here.

cas said...

To see what a staff person is paid:

http://www.seattlepi.com/data/databases/teacher-salaries.asp?appSession=12488479263947

cas said...

Opps here is the link on staff pay:

http://www.seattlepi.com/data/databases/teacher-salaries.asp?appSession=12488479263947

seattle citizen said...

For comparative purposes, see the average wage paid to ALL people with masters degrees (many educatorshave masters):
http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/average-masters-degree-salary/

(in thousands of dollars):

Seattle - 59
Boston - 74
NY, NY - 81
Raleigh - 67
Orlando - 55
Dallas - 61
Denver - 58
Phoenix - 54
Vegas - 61
LA - 62
Chicago - 66
Slat Lake - 49

Average of these: 62.25