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How Deep Is The Teacher Bench?


Good question. I think you're right that there should be some burden of proof on those who want to cut loose low-performers. And that we should not assume that teachers would be replaced by "average" teachers (in baseball they call it VORP - Value Over Replacement Player. I suppose in this case it would be negative VORT). My attempt - Doesn't the answer depend on the particular year? I.e., this past year, in some districts, it seemed like many young teachers were let go, purely because they were "last in." Plus many recent grads who couldn't find jobs. Were they the bench of sorts? Would the sports analogy would be a team that has a mixed draft - some good rookies, some bad rookies - but cuts all their rookies instead of pruning the worst 5% of their existing players?

Excellent points and nice metaphor. The anti-teacher rants by pundits are essentially ideological drivel. There isn't any way to replace mass numbers of teachers. However, the corporate education plunderers financing the anti-teacher movement have much to be gained, even without qualified replacements. Their goal is to break unions in general and teachers unions specifically. They are less concerned with having quality charter schools than they are with having profitable ones. The best way to this goal is young, inexperienced, non-unionized, low wage teachers.

Teacher attrition is getting worse due to very poor morale. In Florida, many of my colleagues were openly talking about leaving the profession as the legislature passed a bill which would not only fire, but automatically revoke the teaching certificate of teachers whose students did not meet vague goals on standardized tests. (Thankfully, the bill was vetoed by the governor.) And this wasn't "bad" teachers at a "bad" school, but some of the best educators in a school which has never received a grade other than an 'A' in the state's rating system. Teachers have long had to deal with mediocre salaries, stressful conditions, and a lack of political respect, and we're still in there doing our best. But there's no way that a rational individual will stay in a profession where the ability to continue a career is tied to something as random as kids' scores on one-shot standardized tests.

Here's my take on this "fire bad teachers" movement:


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