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A New Way to Manage Teachers

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In recent years, some voices like the New Teacher Project have called for changing how teachers are hired by school districts, and have even worked with some districts to revamp their hiring practices and to improve teacher retention.

Now, a new report from the Annenberg Institute of School Reform at Brown University is touting another approach: it says districts ought to consolidate all teacher-related functions, like recruitment, evaluation, professional development, staffing, and even collective bargaining, under a single "human- capital management" office. The hope is that this would ensure better coordination of the teacher-related functions and transform the way districts recruit, hire, train, evaluate, and pay teachers.

The report says that when anything to do with teachers or teacher quality arises, people look to the human-resources department. But some functions, including collective bargaining and professional development, could fall outside the purview of human resources. And the authors argue that if, for instance, the human-resources office is doing a great job hiring teachers but the professional-development office is not doing as great a job training them, it could have negative effects on the entire district.

It's a provocative thought. But are there any takers out there?

1 Comment

If the "human-capital-management" office knows anything about teachers' needs, then it's a good idea. The human resource dep't at my district knew nothing about what teachers, or students, need. I'm a certified chemistry teacher. Half-way through my chemistry course, they transferred me to a reservation an hour away, to teach 7th grade science. Presumably because they wanted to say they had a certified science teacher at both schools (example: me). I asked her what would happen to my chemistry students, she replied, "That's none of your concern." I was replaced by a long-term sub with zero science background, so my high school chemistry students never got chemistry any longer, while I was busy teaching 7th graders an hour away. This was in a district with a very, very powerful school board. I wrote a dramatic memoir about the obstacles I fought while teaching at-risk students in an inner-city school, called NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND? THE TRUE STORY OF A TEACHER'S QUEST by Elizabeth Blake. Available on Amazon.com. It's referred to as "the Up the Down Staircase" of the 21st century."

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