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NYC Principals Not Keeping Their Best Teachers, Report Finds

The new study recommends teacher merit pay and better evaluations systems to retain the best and the brightest.

A national study released Monday found that school districts are not retaining the best teachers and suggests merit pay and better evaluation systems.

According to a study by the New Teacher Project known as “The Irreplaceables,” the nation’s 50 largest school districts lose 10,000 of its best teachers every year, while one in 10 classrooms is still led by an experienced, but low-performing teacher.

The study also found that two-thirds of the best teachers had not been asked to stay at their schools by the principal and that principals rarely asked weak teachers to leave.

The New Teacher Project recommended teacher merit pay, better evaluation systems and evaluation of how well principals retain their best teachers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott applauded the report.

“The study released today by TNTP – and which New York City participated in –confirms that school districts across the country must do more to keep great teachers in our classrooms. That’s exactly why we have offered to add a $20,000 annual stipend to the salaries of teachers who are rated highly effective for two consecutive years.”

But the United Federation of Teachers criticized Bloomberg’s stance on the study.

“It’s a shame that the mayor, who thinks merit pay is the solution to every problem, has chosen to ignore one of this report’s central findings – that poor school cultures and working conditions drive away great teachers,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the Daily News.

Patch wants to know: Do you agree with the mayor or the union on adopting a merit pay system?

Cast your vote in Patch’s poll and post your comments in the section provided below.

Halli August 01, 2012 at 04:08 PM
In both my junior high and high schools, new principals have recently been appointed who have been giving poor reviews to excellent teachers because they will not precisely follow the inane demands of these new principals, who do not have the experience in the classroom of the teachers. Experienced teachers need to be able to adjust their teaching styles and plans accordingly in ways best fit for their classes. Instead of these excellent teachers, these two principals are now favoring young, inexperienced teachers who will bend to their every demand and be totally pliable. I am so disappointed that my prestigious alma maters are being degraded in this way by such misguided principals. Further, merit pay is not a feasible idea because far too much of teacher evaluations would be based solely on the principal's own opinion, when very little should be. If a principal has a personality problem with a teacher - which these two principals as mentioned seem to have with nearly all of the experienced teachers - the principal absolutely must not be able to use this against the teachers. A principal's opinion could be counted as a small percentage of a total evaluation, with student and parent evaluations considered as well. I also have serious problems with basing evaluations for teachers on test scores, because scores are so very heavily affected by the home life of the students, with very little effect by even the most effective teachers if the home life is lacking.
David R. Yale August 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I saw the same thing happen at my daughter's elementary school some years back. Experienced, highly-regarded teachers were forced out and replaced with less-expensive, pliable, inexperienced rookies.

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