Dangerously Irrelevant offers for discussion a modest proposal: Let students, parents, teachers and staff vote the school’s worst teacher “off the island” every year.
1. Do our damnedest to create a positive working climate for teachers: ongoing administrative and community support, decent resources, professional development that’s actually useful, etc. Sometimes easier said than done, but nonetheless…
2. In nearly every school there usually are a handful of teachers who are just going through the motions (or worse). Students know who they are. Other teachers know who they are. Administrators know who they are. Parents know who they are (that’s why they work so hard to get their kid some other teacher instead).
3. Every year fire the worst teacher in the school. If you don’t have a robust teacher evaluation system (or if you’re worried about administrator bias), do it like they do on Survivor: everyone gets a vote and the one with the most votes leaves the island. Administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents – everyone involved with the school gets a vote. Dismissal by consensus. The more that are involved, (hopefully) the less likelihood of a witch hunt. If necessary, modify the master contract to make this happen.
It’s common in business to “manage out” (fire) the worst performers each year. The boss decides, however, not a committee of co-workers.
Update: Los Angeles is paying teachers not to teach while the district investigates charges against them or tries to fire them. One man has collected $68,000 a year since 2002, when he was charged with touching and sexually harassing female students. Non-teaching teachers can’t be assigned to clerical or support work, the district says, because of union rules. You’d think they could find non-contact teaching work, such as grading papers.