Rated “highly effective” in the Los Angeles Times‘ analysis of value-added scores, fifth-grade teacher Miguel Aguilar faced jealousy from other teachers. Now he’s sharing his teaching techniques with his colleagues — and facing a layoff in the fall, reports the Times.
Many of Aguilar’s students — mostly low-income and Latino — started in the bottom 30% but scored well above average at the end of the year. By contrast, the teacher in the next classroom, John Smith, ranked among the district’s least effective teachers. Aguilar, who has eight years seniority, received a pink slip warning he may be laid off; Smith, with 15 years’ seniority, will keep his job, even if cuts are severe.
Aguilar said he “went through hell” when the article came out, he told the Times.
“There’s a lot of jealousy and hate out there…. People said things like, ‘There’s this guy who thinks he’s all good just because he’s Latino and he’s friends with the kids. How do you know he’s not cheating?'”
However, teachers — including Smith — began coming to Aguilar for help. The principal and teachers say there’s “a new openness to talking about what works, an urgent desire to improve.”
Top teachers will be head-hunted for jobs as teaching coaches, predicts Michael Goldstein on Starting an Ed School. Teachers like Aguilar with high value-added scores should be recruited as coaches, leaders, higher-paid teachers or teachers who get “curriculum freedom, assistance with certain tasks, flexible funds for student projects or trips’ or whatever else they want, he writes.
High-scoring schools now get hundreds of visitors. The same should apply to unusually effective teachers, writes Goldstein, who founded Boston’s MATCH school.