Here’s a novel educational theory, espoused by an outgoing high-ranking official in British education:
Ms Atkins argued that poor teachers should not be sacked, as schools “need to reflect society”.
She told The Sunday Times: “It’s about learning how to identify good role models. One really good thing about primary school is that every kid learns how to deal with a really —- teacher.”
She continued: “I would not remove every single useless teacher because every grown-up in a workplace needs to learn to deal with the moron who sits four desks down without lamping them and to deal with authority that’s useless.
“I’d like to keep the number low, but if every primary school has one pretty naff teacher, this helps kids realise that even if you know the quality of authority is not good, you have to learn how to play it.”
I see her point. There are few things more demoralizing, after years of hard working studying and prepping and interning for the glamorous world of work than discovering that the “real world” offers some of the stupidest people you’ve ever met — and some of them are your bosses.
Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to learn early of their existence and how to deke around their insanity.
I wonder how many sobbing Rhode Islanders would feel if they knew their kids were stuck with crap teachers — and stuck with their already insanely high taxes paying their full salaries for sitting in “detention” as it were year after year thanks to union protections.
In New York City, these splendid exemplars of pedagogy are banished to what’s called the “rubber room”, where they spend a workday collecting full pay, accumulated sick days (and since they are never absent, that’s a lot of sick days and vacation) and growing their tax-payer paid pensions for not teaching, for staying as far away from students as possible.
They are being handsomely rewarded for not doing their jobs!
The Bloomberg administration has made getting rid of inadequate teachers a linchpin of its efforts to improve city schools. But in the two years since the Education Department began an intensive effort to root out such teachers from the more than 55,000 who have tenure, officials have managed to fire only three for incompetence.
Joel I. Klein, the schools chancellor, above, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg say cumbersome state laws hamper their efforts….
Ridding schools of subpar teachers has become one of the signature issues of national education reformers, but the results in New York City show that, as is true in many school systems around the country, the process is not easy.
The city’s effort includes eight full-time lawyers, known as the Teacher Performance Unit, and eight retired principals and administrators who serve as part-time consultants to help principals build cases against teachers. Joel I. Klein, the schools chancellor, said that the team, whose annual budget is $1 million, had been “successful at a far too modest level” but that it was “an attempt to work around a broken system.”
Mr. Klein and his boss, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, said they were hampered by cumbersome state laws that had been heavily influenced by the teachers’ union here, although many of the rules that govern the cases were agreed to by the city.
“The process makes it virtually impossible to remove a teacher within a reasonable amount of time,” Mr. Klein said in an interview. “Nobody thinks that the number of cases is reflective of the teachers who should be removed.”
Ten others whom the department charged with incompetence settled their cases by resigning or retiring, and nine agreed to pay fines of a few thousand dollars or take classes, or both, so they could keep their jobs.