Today superintendent Greene outlined a plan to help our newest teachers at our struggling schools and i say kudos to her. It’s long overdue that we help our newest teachers. We cannot continue to throw them in the deep end and hope for the best and wonder why so few stay.
Those with three years of experience or less make up nearly 40 percent of turnaround teachers.
“That’s a large number of teachers that don’t have that bag of strategies to go to, not because they’re not good teachers, they’re just new,” Greene said.
Several schools in danger of having to be managed by an external company or closed by the state if they don’t make a ‘C’ grade will share a “super principal” to help them.
Additional positions will be added solely to support new teachers in turnaround schools paid for by state grant money. The money will also pay for new supplemental curricula.
But turnaround schools aren’t the only ones needing improvement Greene said.
“If you look at our data a third of our elementary schools dropped a letter grade,” she said.
In order to achieve an A grade she said high performing schools have to sustain their grades. She’s challenged principals and district employees to set aggressive goals.
This is a good and long overdue move.
But you know what another good and long overdue move is? Saying no to the state when they set our children and schools up for failure which is what they do when they demand last second transfer of teachers from our most fragile schools. Pasco county has said no and so should we.
From the Tampa Times:
State rule says turnaround schools cannot have a percentage of teachers with “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” ratings that’s higher than the district average. If the district has five or fewer schools in the accountability system, the percentage must not exceed the state average.
Pasco County has five schools implementing state-mandated improvement plans. And superintendent Kurt Browning says he has no intention of simply transferring teachers around because of their VAM.
“We are not going to hit that panic button,” Browning said. “I would want to argue with the state.”
He said the district plans to assign training and mentors to any teachers who received low VAM marks while working in one of the turnaround schools, to help them improve their skills. They might move positions within the school as well, if that would benefit both teachers and students, Browning added, noting that’s what the district did a year ago under the rule.
I think about those teachers that were surplussed on Monday and my heart breaks for them, they deserve so much better.
Greene thus far has proven innovative and to be a forward thinker, but now it’s time she stood up to the state especially when she has to know how wrong they are.