LA’s inner-city schools with young teachers are losing most of their staff to layoffs, reports NPR.
For example, at John Liechty Middle School, created not long ago as a shining example of innovative education, more than half of the teachers are being laid off.
The school is located in the heart of downtown L.A.’s rough Pico-Union neighborhood. It opened its doors just two years ago and is heavily staffed with young, nontenured teachers.
“Originally when we hired, new teachers were the ones that opted to our program,” says Principal Jeanette Stevens.
Veteran teachers weren’t interested in the school when it opened, but now they’re transferring in to replace young teachers.
“I’m having to go out and pick up teachers who may not be vested in the program [because] they are displaced and they have a right to the position,” Stevens says.
Even administrators, long out of the classroom, may replace the young teachers. Stevens says she’s devastated.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever see another group of educators that are so passionate and committed to the work that they are doing.” And Stevens says she’ll really miss the young teachers’ innovation.
Seventh-grade teachers wrote a horror movie starring a kidnapper named Pythagoras who leaves ransom notes, such as: “Find all the squares and don’t be late, you need to find eight.” As a result, all the seventh-graders know the Pythagorean Theorem.