Saturday, September 10, 2016
The Teacher Shortage Has Reached The Bronx.
The looming teacher shortage has apparently reached the Bronx. I have been told by various people that loads of vacancies have still not been filled as students showed up to their schools only to find out that they have no teacher in front of the classroom. At the high school level, many teachers are being asked to cover a sixth class in shortage area subjects, which now comes out of the school's budget this year, In fact, discontinued teachers are now being hired in the Bronx, even if they were discontinued in another school district in the City.
School after school I visit as an ATR in Queens and speaking with different ATRs, they tell me of the many untenured and "newbie" teachers that are the majority of staff members. School after school, with some exceptions, the teaching staff has the same complaints. Senior teachers believe they are picked on by the school administration and many are being harassed out of the DOE. While the inexperienced teachers lack the institutional memory to understand how a collaborative school works and never lasts long enough to be a "quality teacher".
The results, especially in the Bloomberg small schools with Leadership Academy principals, teacher turnover is high and these schools churn through teachers at rates that approach what the charter schools experience. Combine that with the reduction of teachers graduating from teacher training programs in college and the damage done to the profession by the so-called education refoirmers and their media allies and its little wonder that the Bronx is nlw suffering from a certified teacher shortage.
I believe this is just the beginning of a widespread teacher shortage citywide as the State made teacher certification increasingly difficult and expensive. Moreover, the low morale, pay, and accountability metrics in the State's teacher evaluation system discourage potential teacher recruits who rather go into more lucrative and respected professions. With 10% of the student population now going to charter schools, the overall teacher turnover will only increase as charter schools experience an average complete teacher turnover every three years.
It may take another five years but eventually politicians will realize that the laws and education policy that hurt teacher recruitment will be changed but by then it will be too late as many quality teachers will have left the school system and the city will be recruiting out of town and foreign teachers to fill the void. Noit a recipe for student learning for the students in New York City.