Friday, May 13, 2016

Fairness Isn't Sameness

It is an open practice in too many large school districts for new teachers to hire on at one of the district’s at-risk schools, spend one year there and then get cherry picked off the transfer list to join one of the district’s affluent schools.

What this does is ensure that the most at-risk students in the district have the least experienced teachers and the least at-risk students have the most experienced teachers.  When Central Office is pressed on this (politely) by the principals of the at-risk schools, they are told that if the district doesn’t allow the transfers then the DISTRICT will lose good teachers to other districts.  This is of absolutely no consolation to the principal that is losing 20% of her staff ever year to her own district.

Since I’m throwing the stone, I’m obligated to provide a solution. Here it is, District...

1. Identify your at-risk schools.  For example, the schools that your teachers transfer from, not to.

2. Make the starting teacher salary at those campuses $2,000.00 higher than the starting salary at your non at-risk schools.

3. Every year that the teacher remains at the at-risk school, along with the district's standard raise, add another $500.00 to the original $2,000.00 add-on.

4. If the teacher transfers to a non at-risk school, she forfeits the extra pay.

Now, many will say that is not fair.  But it is. Any teacher at a non at-risk school who transfers to an at-risk school gets the initial increase and every year she remains she too gets the $500.00 add-on.

And let’s be honest, the current system already in unfair.  Because if it was, teachers wouldn’t be abandoning at-risk schools the first chance they get.

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