Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teacher Reductions, School Closings more of those Courageous Decisions?

There's going to be an avalanche of school district news; where teacher reductions and school closing announcements will be made time and time again. Portage is thinking about closing up to 3 schools along with teacher reductions, even if a proposed referendum passes. From the Brookfield Patch:
Back in March, noted education historian Diane Ravitch penned a blog for Education Week called “Why Are Teachers So Upset?” Her blog cited a MetLife study stating that teacher job satisfaction was the lowest it has been in 20 years. In three years, it went from 59 percent to 44 percent while the percentage of teachers likely to leave the profession climbed from 17 percent to 29 percent.
For the best report on the current state of our schools, @the chalk face interviewed Diane Ravitch. It's a great site for the latest in educational news and interviews and can be heard on WTDY. 

Here's part 2:

Ravitch contends that job satisfaction is directly tied to feeling that the profession is respected by the community.

This calls to mind a story in Tuesday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the School District of New Berlin. The district is in danger of losing up to a third of its teachers. A total of 50 out of 314, more than 15 percent, have resigned or retired already this year.

High teacher turnover comes with serious consequences. For starters, studies show that teachers are at their best after seven years in a classroom. With nearly half quitting before their fifth year, there is a serious lack of experienced educators.

Fiscal conservatives take note; turnover is extremely expensive. The Alliance for Excellent Education says that schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.

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