Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike Day 3: Principals and Practice

The strike has now entered day 3 and it looks like a tough one.  Among CTU's outrageous proposals was giving teachers with good evaluations who lost their jobs because their school was turned around or the enrollment dropped first crack at jobs ahead of hiring new teachers.

While it may make sense at first glance that in a field where half the people quit in the first 3-5 years to give a nod to proven successful teachers, it ignores some key facts.  As Rahm Emanuel put it, "I don't think downtown should be in the business of selecting teachers that the local school principal should select if you're going to hold them accountable,

Emanuel spoke yesterday at Tarkington School of Exodus where several principals including former principal Mahalia "Mommon" Hines who said, "If I'm a principal and you're going to hold me accountable, you're going to fire me. I want to pick my people."

She makes an exceptional point.   Who in their right might would sit still for an evaluation that was based on the people you manage when you didn't even pick those people?  It would be pretty stupid to hold somebody accountable for what their employees were doing when you didn't pick them.  Still, it was these recall rights and also evaluation that seemed to be the big holdups?  I am very disturbed by how scared these teachers are of being evaluated by the success or failure of their students.   A good teacher should welcome this kind of evaluation.

Of course if Rahm goes through with long rumored plans to close 100 schools, there will be an awful lot of students in the recall pool.  Still, I have to agree with Rahm, it must be principal's perogative.

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