3 Replies to “Houston, We Have Statements”

  1. It is interesting that many people keep citing statistics about the small number of teachers fired in public schools. Obviously, these people have never served in school leadership positions.

    In Texas, principals can relatively easily fire teachers. But it is much, much easier to convince the ineffective teachers to simply leave the profession–or at least the school employing the teacher.

    So, while districts have on record relatively few teachers being fired, a far greater number of teachers get counseled or pushed out of the profession. Why it is so important to actually fire people? Perhaps fear of the dance of the lemons, but firing someone does not necessarily stop the dance of the lemons–especially in a state like Texas where poor. minority, and low-performing schools have little choice but to hire the lest qualified and lest effective teachers.

    So, I think we should all be careful when using “statistics” about the low number of teachers being fired without acknowledging that, at least in states without unions, the number of teachers “fired” is actually much, much greater than what gets reported.

  2. Also interesting that the Dem for Ed Reform blog calls out teacher unions as the cause of the problem. There are NO unions in Texas. Any principal who wants to fire a teacher can relatively easily do so if s/he simply follows correct procedures such as documenting ineffectiveness, providing opportunities for improvement, and then documenting continued low performance.

  3. Ed, thanks for stating the obvious. During the first five years of employment, almost half of all new teachers leave the profession. Although many leave of their own volition, many are asked to leave, or are “counseled out.” Because teachers are on contracts, the word “fired” is seldom used. A teacher is almost always given the option to resign, and most take this option. They are then listed as “resignations” and not “terminations.”

    In my 42 years of teaching I remember quite a few teachers who were “non-renewed” or asked to resign, but I can only think of three teachers and one principal who were fired. Three of these people committed crimes and one abandoned his position.

    Frankly I’m surprised the media hasn’t caught on to this.

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