Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Another Statistic of a Teacher Getting the Shaft

This guy was probationary in his district although he had some 18 years experience and good evaluations. The sadist of a principal decided to sack him because she could.

Even if he had a continuing contract, he'd get shitcanned. The only difference is the principal would have to fabricate charges.

The comments are really good following this article.

These two comments go to the crux of the matter:

4:35 AM PDT
Bullying and ageism by administrators is a huge issue. My friends and I continue to hope and pray for an investigative reporter willing to taking on this issue. Plenty of us would be willing to be interviewed. We are a mixture of conservatives and liberals, and all of us are angry when the media and pundits portray teachers as afraid of teacher evaluations that give admins more power because we don't want to be evaluated. That is ridiculous. We get evaluated constantly, formally and informally. We all have experienced the bullying, or we've seen it. It happens every year, in every school. (And some of us work in more than one school each year, simultaneously, so we see a lot.) What say you? Is there any reporter out there who is willing to blow the top off the whole education scandal? He or she must be willing to become an undercover teacher--that's the only way you would get to experience the bullying, ageism, over -the-top emphasis on testing, and inhumane workload. Jay Matthews, you must put the word out there. If you want to know what's wrong with education, ask the teachers. I feel so much for this teacher. He is not from my district, but I see these things go on. Oh, yes, they do. Which brings me to another point. You ought to investigate the quality of the admins. I think it's getting like the Catholic Church and priests--they just aren't getting a good pick of candidates. A lot of admins have NEVER been teachers! And the lack of character, good management skills, ability to control emotions/moods, organizational skills, and just basic CEO skills are killing the whole work environment. They often are grossly unqualified. And so many just grab onto the latest initiative, making teachers learn many new ways to do things, every year, until the next new stupid initiative comes along. And what happens? We have someone like Maxwell leave the ship. Says he didn't even think of it until he was asked in June.. I wonder if it was the $ package. (Excuse typos/rambling.)

Schools are relatively unique among employer organizations in ways that allow principals to act irrationally re teachers:

1. Schools are non-profits so there is no end-of-fiscal-year bottom line profit/loss figure to deter a principal from irrational actions.

2. Central admin rarely has hands-on contact with anyone in the school other than the principal so the principal can largely control what central admin learns about what is happening in the school.

3. Schools have only one manager -- the principal. In schools that have subordinate managers -- the asst principals or department chairs -- the subordinate managers report to the principal with no dotted-line/informal alternate report to central admin. By contrast, most large employer organizations have multiple managers, each of whom has at least some interaction with other managers at their level and each of whom has subordinate managers with dotted-line reports to senior management. If one manager screws up, senior management will eventually hear about it.

4. The introduction of data-driven employee evaluations (rating teachers based on student test scores) provides superficial objectivity to teacher evals. However, the principal can easily influence a teacher's test scores by making favorable or unfavorable class or student assignments. Indeed, a principal can appear to be an excellent manager by assigning the "problem" students to disfavored Teacher X and then discharging Teacher X for low test scores while the other teachers -- freed from the problem students -- achieve better test scores, thereby making the principal look like a good manager.

5. The combination of probation and the typical salary scale discourage teachers from challenging a principal -- the junior teachers have no protection and the senior teachers have too much too lose -- that is, a 15-yr teacher cannot move to another district at a 15-yr salary + moving to another system might kill his/her pension benefit.

Amen to that.

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