Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Schools and Children

I want to say a little more about Rob Manwaring’s discussion on how seniority policies affect chronically low performing schools.  To steal a line from Rick Hess’s recent post, changing working conditions in schools is not – and should not – be about “collecting scalps.”  Turning around low performing schools needs to be about combating years of neglect, under-resourcing, and mismanagement.  And as this recent CRPE report illustrates, seniority policies and working conditions conspire to ensure that our most vulnerable schools and children do not benefit from the tremendous skills and transformational powers of our most effective educators.  Rather than think about school turnaround as a punitive exercise, we should think of it as an opportunity to give those most vulnerable children access to the amazing educators they deserve.  Will this disrupt existing teacher placement and retention policies?  Probably.  Will it be uncomfortable for some adults?  Surely.  Should it be done in a way that respects individuals and their livelihoods?  Of course.  But is it necessary if we want to see different results for children that deserve a better education?  Definitely.

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