Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Why Can't Renewal Schools Recruit Quality Teachers?
Public Advocate, Latitia James, has called for a probe of the policies affecting the Renewal School program. She appears most upset about the declining enrollment, lack of resources, poor and costly consultant services, low college ready scores, and lack of quality teachers affecting the Renewal Schools. This post will touch on only one of the issues, that's the lack of quality teachers.
Since the beginning of the Renewal School program back in 2014. The Chancellor, Carmen Farina, has been claiming that the DOE will make every effort to encourage "highly effective" teachers to jump ship and join the Renewal Schools. While the Chancellor talked a good game the results were very disappointing. Few, if any quality teachers took the Chancellor up on her offer. Nobody in their right mind would be willing to leave their appointed position to work for the same money while being subject to more accountability, less preparation time, and a stressful school environment in a school that might close three years down the road and find themselves in the ATR pool.
The Chancellor told Chalkbeat how she will be staffing the Renewal Schools with "highly effective" teachers. Instead, the only teachers being hired by the Renewal Schools are "newbies". Just take a look at the article about Automotive High School. Moreover, the Chancellor ignored the data and falsely claimed that quality teachers were applying in droves to the Renewal Schools. I guess to her "newbies" are quality teachers and that the Renewal Schools were not losing students despite the latest data. Finally, the DOE has in their school-based "fair student funding" formula discourages the hiring of veteran teachers who have the classroom management skills and deep curriculum knowledge to control an academically struggling school.
Go to most any Renewal High School in the City and you see fewer and fewer veteran teachers as they resign or retire and are replaced by the latest batch of "newbies" who are subject to a steep learning curve and usually jump ship through the Open Market Transfer System. In fact, a study shows that 80% of the "newbie" teachers end up in another school. You can read about some of the Renewal High Schools Here.
The chances the Renewal Schools can attract quality teachers are slim and none unless major structural changes are made like offering veteran teachers more money, exempt from Danielson, assurances of placement in another school if the Renewal School closes, and autonomy in the classroom without the micromanagement that adds to the stress and is a hallmark of the Renewal Schools.