Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Let’s make it really simple.
This is how principals used to staff their schools:
Roughly a third of the faculty are pretty new at the job, learning the ropes. Most have their Masters degree or are finishing it up. They look to learn things from the teachers who have been around for a while and often admire them for their easy way with kids and how they manage their classes.
The middle third of the staff really has a handle on most things. Class management fine, they know their stuff and can experiment comfortably with new lessons and methods as they come along. They're settling in for the long haul, enjoy teaching and accomplish much. They can still run up and down 3 or 4 flights of stairs without any effort.
The last third, the vets, generally know what they can expect from the student populations and the profession itself. They are pretty secure in their style, don’t have any illusions about the job, and disdain jargon and untested methodologies. (They don’t like untested administrators much either.) Most know what works and avoid what doesn’t. Some look towards retirement, most keep plugging away. A surprising number still like teaching and hang in there, they say, for the kids.
Those schools are long gone in BloomKlein world.
Just for fun, a couple of us plotted the faculty of our school the other day and discovered the NEW model for staffing city schools :
This man-made disaster is characterized by youth, a lot of people without permanent certification, a kind of institutionalized arrogance (best described by learnersinherit), and tremendous turnover.
The whole dynamic in schools has changed under this chancellorship. Purging the ranks of experienced teachers, Klein has aimed to cut salary costs and cut blowback. In these he has succeeded, but in educating students and giving them safe, stable, and uncrowded environments he’s failed miserably. He doesn't want you to see the data for faculty experience and longevity. It's shocking, and it is dangerous to society.
Teaching is a craft, and it’s done best when apprentices are nurtured until they become practitioners, and when practitioners — those mid-career and the veteran teachers who used to make up two-thirds of the faculty — are relied upon to carry the educational weight of the school.
The BloomKlein model reduces schools to a culture of perpetual newness, confusion, and inexperience. How on earth can this be the environment of choice for thinking people.