Sunday, September 15, 2013

Act 10 creates Teacher Turnover problem? Of course.

The following two stories made the press at about the same time, pointing out a troubling unstable trend:
MarshfieldNewsHerald: The Marshfield School District has seen an unprecedented level of turnover among its teaching staff members in the two years since Gov. Scott Walker’s signature piece of legislation was signed into law.

A total of 77 teachers have retired, taken positions at otherschool districts, or left the profession entirely since Act 10 abolished most collective bargaining powers and required teachers and other support staff members to shoulder more pension and health insurance costs. That’s about 30 percent of all teachers the district employs.
And then there was this in the Journal Sentinel
Expiration of union contract accelerated departures at Milwaukee schools: As the four-year contract between Milwaukee Public Schools and the teachers union expired this summer, educators retired at double the pace of 2012, pushing the two-year retirement total to more than 600 teachers, new data shows … the recent spike in the state's largest district appears to be driven by the end of the teachers’ contract and the retirement benefits it guaranteed — such as a generous payout for unused sick days — to those who qualified … since June 2011, the number of teachers resigning from the district — 595 — nearly matched the number of teacher retirements: 671.

Taken together, retirements and resignations have caused a sudden shift to a younger and less experienced staff in the district. That shift raises concerns as well as hopes for student achievement … research shows that frequent teacher turnover generally diminishes achievement  … Superintendent Gregory Thornton said earlier this year that MPS needs to create an environment where employees want to work, live, learn, play and grow. "When you have this much talent leaving the system," Thornton added, "it can be catastrophic or transformational."
Who takes satisfaction knowing so many had to give up their dedicated work with children? Scott Walker, that's who. 

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