The New teacher project released a new troubling report on our school system. The report, Unintended Consequences: The Case for Reforming the Staffing Rules in Urban Teachers Union Contracts, talks about teacher unions and hiring practices that go on. After reading this report major changes are going to have to take place to make sure the teacher we hire are the best we can have.

This is the same group that came out with another report, Missed Opportunities:
How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms, that was stating that a slow hiring process can lead a school district to hiring crappier teachers.

In the new report they give out four problems caused by the hiring practices that go on. The first problem they state is that 40% of teacher jobs were filled by school districts that had little or no say on the hiring of that certain teacher. That number shocked me. All voluntary transfers for teachers are going to have to go bye-bye. The school district and only the school district must have the right to hire a schoolteacher. If a teacher wants to teach in another school district they should send in a proper application and see what happens. I would give them no special treatment no matter how many years they have been teaching. This type of hiring also leads to hiring some of the worst teachers around. With teachers being like the most vital job in an economy to have this is certainly something that must never take place.

The second problem they say principals have encouraged poor teachers to transfer to another school district. This also shocked me as well. If the school district who hired this teacher is not given some sort of help to make them a better teacher then they really need to be fired, not transferred.

The third problem they say is that the new teachers are hired last. Although the veteran schoolteacher needs a job as well, doing this can easily hurt getting enough talent out the college system. I do not see any problems hiring new teachers along side old veteran teachers.

The final problem they list is that new teachers are expendable. I do not like this all. Our educational system really needs to get the teacher retention rates up big time. That only hurts retention rates and it also hurts the students as well. Plus these new teachers do need the experience under the current educational system to get some seniority so they are not so easily fired. I am not too much of fan for seniority because my educational plan has its own way to fire a teacher. If a new teacher is doing a great job he or she must not be replaced by someone that has transfer status. That totally goes against the rules of running a good business.

I am not for the 100% removal of teacher union’s, but the unions and the school district are going to have to make major changes to the way they hire and even fire a teacher. It is crucial in getting a better workforce for the 21st century and is only fair. My ideas that I have posted on this website are certainly a good start in the right direction on the necessary changes that need to be made.


“Study: Union rules force city schools to hire unwanted teachers” & AP (2005) n. pag. Online. Internet. November 17, 2005

Levin, Jessica , Jennifer Mulhern, and Joan Schunck “Unintended Consequences The Case for Reforming the Staffing Rules in Urban Teachers Union Contracts” The New Teacher Project (2005) n. pag. Online. Internet. 2005

“Report: Plodding pace costs schools top teachers” & AP (2003) n. pag. Online. Internet September 15, 2003

Jessica Levin and Meredith Quinn “Missed Opportunities: How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms” (2003) n. pag. Online. Internet.