Roza On Reform

Commodore Marguerite Roza turns in a primer on  teacher layoffs during economic times like these (pdf).

5 Replies to “Roza On Reform”

  1. The Ed Week article was excellent and it reported,

    “Many of the state’s bigger education groups, including the California School Boards Association and the California Teachers Association, didn’t take an official position.

    Rick Pratt, the director of government relations for the CSBA, said that while the new reporting requirement may call more attention to an already-recognized problem, it doesn’t solve it.”

    “We need to find ways to provide incentives for teachers who want to accept the challenge of working in a low-performing school,” he said. “But we have been in a budget-cutting mode in California for the last five years.”

    The problem that worries me is what comes next,

    Ms. Ali said incentives are only part of the equation. Others, she said, include union contracts and state rules …”

    Ali thus has the potential to make a bad problem worse.

  2. Well, duh. If you can RIF the highest paying employees you can RIF fewer total employees for hte same money. This logic completely ignores the value of the laid off employee and the difficult of getting them back or replacing them in the future.

    Her general point can be made without reference to all those numbers: in tough times lay off the people who are not worth their salaries.

    But you want to think about the long term effects on recruitment, retention, hiring costs, and quality when contemplating teacher dismissal rules that are more “flexible” than predictable last-in first-out rules.

  3. Please excuse the double post but I have to clear up some confusion, after following your link to Roza’s paper, I followed a link from another blog to an Ed Week article on Ms. Ali’s appointment. Both Ed Trusters have much in common. Both are excellent in explaining the problem. Both tend to play cute about what they want. And both, I suspect, are so anti-teacher because they don’t know what they don’t know about inner city NEIGHBORHOOD schools. Both seem to be flirting with policy proposals that would take a horrible problem and make it much worse.

    We should all be able to agree on incentives to attract the best teachers to poor schools. And we need to NEGOTIATE procedures so that NEXT recession we have better contracts. But both Roza and Ali SEEM to
    support policies that would drive veteran teachers and teachers who prefer teaching in lower poverty schools out of the profession while not helping poor schools.

    I strongly support negotiations to improve poor schools like mine. Given the totality of our conditions and budgetary constraints realities, however, Roza and Ali do no seem to have a serious propoasl for making things better for poor schools – as opposed to harming their enemies.

    I don’t expect some accountablity advocates who not have actual experience in the inner city to bother to understand, but in the last few hours I learned more about the recent body count from the last week and about the four of my students from last year who were shot in the last few days or shot someone in the ongoing violence. I wonder how many units who fought in Iraq have sufferred a casuality rate comparable to the rate at which fatal and near-fatal violence is inflicted on my students. Nobody would tell counselors at the Veteran Administration that all they need to cure Post Traumatic Shock is to have high expectations.

    So, as my previous post tried to communicate, the California teachers union and their school board association had the correct approach to the Ed Trust proposals. Transparency is good, but we need billions to address those problems. If they move ahead with their agenda without inconceivably large amounts of money, their “civil rights revolution on the cheap” will continue to make things worse.

  4. I read the article in the NYT today and wanted to submit a name that would replace the “No Child Left Behind Name” that Education Secy Arne Duncan wants to rebrand. I am a Texas teacher and my suggestion is “Achieving Childrens’ Act”. I feel it is a positive brand that is simple and also encourages children to achieve. I hope I am directing this to the correct place. If not will you be kind enough to forward my suggestion. Thank you, Betty Jo Bell

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