Politics, Schmolitics

The program that's training me to become a teacher guarantees that I will have a job, but they don't guarantee where it will be, other than that it will be in the district in which I'm teaching summer school, Hieronymus Bosch School Districtinarium. Why don't I have a job yet, even though I teach a particularly hard to fill subject? That, ladies and germs, is where Politics, schmolitics comes in.

See, teachers who gain tenure are free to transfer between schools in a district. Also, teachers who are both tenured and amazingly bad at their job are often given the option of being put on an "improvement plan," which means they have to have someone watch them and help them get better at their job, or they can get "pink slipped" and sent to another job in the district. Most choose the second option, since then they don't actually have to learn how to raise achievement levels and are instead able to sit in class and do absolutely nothing. This is one reason the achievement gap is alive and well.

So, an amazingly unimpressive tenured teacher gets pink slipped, and another principal HAS to accept this wonderful mound of flesh and blood. But principals know that this mound is bad, so they don't want to hire said mound. In order to not hire this person, they don't announce the openings they have at their school until some other poor schmuck of a principal has hired the mound. I've heard it's "like a game of chicken," and the principals are doing everything they can not to hire the pink-slipped mounds.

Where I come into this is that principals aren't releasing their openings until other principals have released them, and they're doing this to keep themselves shielded from mounds. Sadly, the mounds are going to get jobs no matter what, and they'll get them as soon as a frightened principal blinks. This means that I'm going to be waiting--and the entire school is going to be waiting--for some principal to finally blink (possibly not until the day before school starts), because union rules allow really, really terrible mounds of flesh and blood to occupy seats in the classroom and do absolutely nothing to help close the achievement gap. Lamez0rz


Samantha said...

I don't know much about teachers' unions or whatever. Is this an example of a teachers' union being a bad thing?