If the hectic holiday season leaves you any time to engross yourself in a fine piece of in-depth education reporting, I recommend “Insert Teacher Here,” a three-part series about teacher placement by Emily Alpert, an education writer for Voice of San Diego.
The series doesn’t oversimplify the problems of the bureaucratic system (and, in fact, includes a short piece about the roots of seniority-based hiring policies) or its solutions.
It touches on the realities of principals having teachers on staff whom they don’t want or had no choice in hiring; on new teachers who get bumped by more veteran teachers as schools close or shrink; principals hiding vacancies, etc. — but also on the problems caused by attempts to change how teachers are selected, as New York City has done.
The Oakland school district’s initial proposal to teachers sought to change bumping rules, but I’m pretty sure that idea has been pushed to the side, as I haven’t heard anything about it lately.
What are your thoughts on how teachers are selected and/or placed in local schools? Should OUSD and the teachers union make changes to the system? How?
photo from woodleywonderworks’ photostream at flickr.com/creativecommons