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I think part of the issue is that, with tenure and such, you can't pick and choose which teachers you fire and which you retain, so they have to get rid of the lot of them as a work around. I know that we've had the state (or feds) take over schools in California which are perpetually failing. The first three years, they try all these interventions. The fourth? They fire the principal. The fifth? They fire the entire staff. But, come on, when do we hold the students' and their parents' feet to the fire?


I think firing all the teachers and making them re-apply to see if they are best for the job isn't a bad idea. It's a great idea? No. It seems very radical...but maybe the school board need to get that point across.


I'm interested to see how it turns out for them. I mean, on the one hand, you're right... teamwork and experience and knowledge of the system and community. On the other hand, starting from scratch and saying "these are our priorities and we are going to fix this come hell or high water," just might be the best approach.

the mombshell

Gawd I should be digging out the driveway right now but I just can't help myself... Yes patois when will there be some accountability on the part of students and parents and municipal and state governments (gasp)? Rarely if ever is student achievement singularly contingent on teaching, and that goes both ways, success and failure. The success of today's education systems (and I am speaking only with reference to Ontario, because that is where I am experienced)is dependent on a number of constituents all working cohesively (eg. teachers, administrators, school boards, families, students, community resources, and various levels of government). What jumped out immediately about this story was "the poorest city in the state", what kind of resources were available to these students and their families (eg. parenting and mentorship programs, food banks, english as a second language programs, etc., etc.) and were they readily available. It is so easy to place blame on the most visible and accessible thing that being the teachers but I think we need to look beyond that in improving our education systems and student success. It is very difficult for a student to learn if they are hungry, are in an abusive home, lack english skills necessary to succeed on standardized tests, work to support their families, etc. no matter how great the teacher. So to answer the questions posed, drastic yes but sadly predictable, it's not even about cutting out weaknesses or throwing out the whole body, it's about nourishing that body and the environment in which that body exists. There the snow should be just about melted now.


Yes, what patois said. Tenure and whatnot.

And FYI, The link to the lap dance teachers is wrong.


Try teaching where you are told one year not to correct any spelling or speaking errors because you will do damage to the students individuality. Next year however, when the majority of the students did poorly on the verbal tests you are told to make sure your students are corrected whenever they spell anything wrong or make errors while speaking. And this was in 1979. In all these years nothing has changed. The school districts are still putting teachers on a short leash, putting more emphasis on whether the school does well on its evaluation, and etc. than on teaching and then blame the teachers. Sad - so sad.

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