Forbes: Don’t Talk Nonsense About Firing Teachers

Commonsense talk on education is welcome wherever we can find it. K12 teacher retention may not seem like a higher ed problem but will be as the adjunct population continues to age out and the combination of low pay, bad working conditions and high student debt continues to drive potential instructors away from the profession. The corollary of supporting teachers to keep them already applies as well.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Of all places, Forbes–widely read by business folk–has a terrific article about why it’s a dumb idea to make a campaign of firing teachers, as “reformers” have. The writer, Nick Morrison, is a regular contributor to Forbes. He quite rightly says that the real problem is keeping and supporting teachers, not firing them.

“While it may excite conservative commentators, this proposal is doomed to fail, not least because firing teachers requires finding replacements, and there is no guarantee they will be any better, if they exist at all.

“But there is another side to this debate, and that is the difficulty of keeping teachers in the classroom. Not just good teachers, but any teachers….

“Teacher retention is a problem familiar to school leaders across education systems. In the U.S. an estimated 40-50% of teachers leave within the first five years and the attrition rates of first year teachers have increased…

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About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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