Friday, April 15, 2005

Chicago principals fire 1,116 teachers

Principals in the City of Chicago public schools system are utilizing a new procedure that allows them to dump non-tenured teachers without any hearings or due process. The principals simply must pick one of six reasons listed, including the infamous “other” category, to not renew the job of any non-tenured teachers.

There should be accountability in the schools and that accountability starts with those inside the classroom. However, if the results of this practice mirror that of the Chicago suburbs, which the proposal is paterned on, it will not result in a large turnover for city teachers – just a lot of anxiety for teachers who will have to wait until August to find out if they can get another job (there are many teachers in the Chicago suburbs who are “not renewed” annually, only to find themselves offered their old job back the next August).

Decisions to fire a teacher should be accompanied by a review of the teacher’s performance and decisions on non-renewal should be grounded in standards of conduct and performance. The new system in Chicago, while making teachers accountable, fails to make the principals accountable for their hiring/firing decisions.


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