Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dance of the Lemons

Read this story of LA Unified's attempts to get rid of poorly performing teachers. Wow. Would a smaller district with a smaller union be able to get rid of bad teachers more effectively?

I think part of LA Unified's problems come from its size. I say that, however, fully admitting I have nothing to back that up with except gut impressions.

Hat tip to Instapundit.


mazenko said...

It is, was, and always will be about administration. My school district regularly gets rid of poorly performing teachers. I've rarely worked in a school that doesn't. It's not about unions or tenure - it's about the boss doing his job.

allen (in Michigan) said...

No, unions have their responsibility for the situation although the union's responsibility flows naturally from the unions role.

And since loaded metaphors are such fun, unions have no more or less blame for their part in screwing up the public education system then lice do for spreading disease.

Ellen K said...

There's an old axiom applied in many school settings called "passing the trash." I witnessed this first hand over a period of ten years. When my youngest son was in middle school there was an art teacher who was truly abusive and depraved in the way art was taught to very young students. Instead of firing him outright, the district did an involuntary transfer to a high school and even gave him AP classes. He was unprofessional and gave class critiques that even made the boys cry in their abuse. He was "non-renewed"-jargon for fired. Then he was, unknowingly to me, hired by my district. I told our dept. head to absolutely dodge this hire and she did, but another school did not. He was awful. He made perverted remarks to female students, displayed his own work which was artistically and technically excellent but definitely adult material. He was asked to resign at midterm last year. Then this summer I walk into an AP Training, and there he is. Another suburban district gave him a job. During the entire class I observed his behavior. He refused to participate, and once again while his art was technically excellent, his subject matter was definitely not to everyone's taste and certainly not for a public school. I shudder each time I read about another teacher out of line because I fear it will be him, yet if I dare to mention his past, I could be sued. Everyone loses.