This article makes me nervous. It does so because there is an assumption that people who are replaced NEED to be replaced, that they somehow deserved being dropped or discarded. While it is true that not every staff member at a school is 120% committed to being a lifelong learner committed to creative effective learning environments for children, it is also true that campus administrators are imperfect as well, and may be subject to motivations other than those related to enhancing learning in classrooms (e.g. politics).
- Many officials willing to replace half of staff to turn around schools By Nick Anderson Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, December 9, 2010; 5:23 PM
- Education officials across the country have replaced the principals and at least half of the staff in about 150 struggling schools to obtain federal aid, the Obama administration disclosed Thursday.
- despite protests this year over proposals to fire large numbers of teachers in Central Falls, R.I., and elsewhere, many state and local officials are willing to replace half or more of a school’s faculty in an effort to turn it around.
- some of those turnaround attempts are moving ahead without opposition from teachers unions.
- the NEA, with 3.2 million members, in general prefers other strategies for fixing schools besides staff replacement. But he added: “We’re not going to ignore kids in any school. The success of the students is what we have to focus on.”
- School officials were given four options to obtain funding. They could replace staff and give a new principal additional powers, a model known as turnaround. They could shut down a school. They could hand management to an independent operator, such as a charter organization, known as a restart. Or they could replace the principal (with a few exceptions), overhaul instruction, increase lesson time and take other steps to improve academics. That option is known as transformation. Taken together, those remedies are significantly more intrusive than fixes prescribed in No Child Left Behind
- transformation is the most popular option
- The turnaround model was chosen in 21 percent of cases
- Five percent of schools were restarted and three percent closed.
- Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor, said staff replacement has been tried in many places since the 1980s – often without success.
- Good teachers often don’t want to work at a school labeled a failure. She said that strong leadership and a comprehensive improvement plan are essential. “There are ways to reboot a school that can be thoughtful,” she said.