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Karen Palumbo

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Remove schools shackles
by Karen Palumbo   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, April 27, 2007
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2007

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Give Principals more power to fire....

      I came across this article while going through the newspapers yesterday afternoon. There have been a few articles with reference to schools and this one is no different. See what you think!

     "Public education is one of the few industries that deny management the ability to evaluate employees annually so that the top performers are rewarded and the ineffective ones dismisses."
     "Not all employees fit the job for which they were hired. Thus most managers review their employees yearly and provide feedback on strengths and weaknesses. If the employee does not imporve within the specified time, most managers can dismiss the employee."
      Gee, now that is a novel idea! Why do so many believe that when they have the opportunity to be employed by a particular industry it is theirs for life. People are hired and fired every day of the week, that is why we have the classified section in any local newspaper.
      Opportunities of employment listed in the classified section of any newspaper is usually there for two reasons. Either the person who had the position before you was fired or they moved on. It is very seldom that a new position is invented by an employer unless it becomes necessary. Employers want to cut costs not increase them, right?
      With regards to teachers, there is a disconnect throughout the system. Good teachers are shunned and made to remain quiet and bad teachers are allowed to contaminate young, unmolded minds.
     "But teachers are on probation for their first three years and then essentially given tenure. Current law and rules make it virtually impossible to remove ineffective teachers. Red tape, documentation requirements and multilple levels of appeal leave principals little ability to manage their staffs."
     "Learning suffers with ineffective teachers. A Tennessee study concludes that students with strong teachers for three consecutive years achieve fifty percent more than students with weak teachers. The study also confirms that strong teachers help students erase the achievement gap associated with race, ethnicity and income within three to five years."
      I know from my own experiences with schools and teachers that you are fighting a losing battle, to say the least. What happens when a teacher is finally removed from a classroom or from a school? Ever wonder about that?
     Well, they may be sent home, but they will continue to receive their salaries for another ten years before they are forced to teach again. Does that make any sense? When you have been fired from a place of employment are you still kept on payroll for a period of ten years? No, of course not. Why should it be any different for those teachers who are not quite up to par?
      In my humble opinion it is time for schools to be run as any other business. A principal should most definitely have the power to hire and fire teachers based on performance. Maybe then the good teachers will have an opportunity to shine and excel instead of being kept silent in the background.

Web Site: Karen Palumbo

Reader Reviews for "Remove schools shackles"

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Reviewed by Wendy Cooper (Reader) 6/9/2008
Ahh this is a can of worms. As a school librarian for the past 36 years I have seen great teachers and lousy ones. Yes lousy teachers should be weeded out-it is the country's future at stake. However I have also seen politics in the school. This teacher got a job because her dad is a Superintendent of Schools in another district, this teacher got the job because they do not have enough men at the elementary level and so on. To top it off we now have No Child Left Behind (NCLB) which I like to refer to as No School Left Standing. Teachers-even good ones-do not want to have the class that pulled down the average, cost them in state aid etc etc.

Most of the students at my school in NJ get free breakfast and a free lunch. There is a latchkey program and even though it is inexspensive many get that free as well.

When I have a problem with a student I have a hard time getting any parent involvement to correct the situation. In fact I have students tell me to my face "My mom won't care if you call." and they are right.

The solution? Unfortunately I don't know. Parents need to be more involved for 1 thing, bad teachers let go, but the real solution escapes me. I worry for this country.

Very thought provoking article.
Reviewed by Mary Coe 2/12/2008
Very intererting reading. An outstanding write.
Reviewed by Jennifer Butler 5/24/2007
But it's not the same environment as a business. The teachers must tolerate every student, and rarely do I hear that a student is fired.
Reviewed by Reginald Johnson 4/29/2007
A stimulating article, Karen. Another caveat is the omission (name) of the thing driving this insanity -- "Teachers Union". Until we get the courage to mention the culprit without fear of reprisal; the status quo will remain.


Reginald V. Johnson
Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone (Reader) 4/29/2007
I always wondered how that rule came about. I agree if they are not effective teachers they should be let go so they can find a place where they fit. Good write. Lady J
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 4/28/2007
Amen sister to that one, in our county a teacher is evaluated by their principal for five years! Upon being hired back the fifth year they recieve tenure, after that it is nearly impossible to get rid of a teacher! I have personally over the past eleven years been witness to this! By the time they finally do fire the teacher in question, there have been at least four or five years worth of twenty five to thirty students per year that lost a year of a certain subject and if in the primary a year of five or more subjects as well as other necessary fundamentals required to be a well rounded student. This has been a problem since I was in school, and probably before and probably always will be...great write a subject that needs to be addressed more often!
Joyce Bowling
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 4/28/2007
When discipline is going rotten, all the fabric desintegrates.
Todays schools are the practice arena for future men and women with total disregard for the society around them, because we let them believe that it was OK to take and not give, that respect is something the fuzz wanted, that there are not consequences.
Yes, give the power back to the teachers, and send home all those self appointed shrinks with their horror histories about what will happen to the phsyche of a child getting a slap in the face after spitting in the face of the teacher.
But that is just me.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 4/28/2007
AMEN!!!! We strapt principles and teachers with so many rules and regulations, they can't teach! Too much else going on, and then add after school, extracurricular activities.....well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 4/28/2007
Interesting read, Karen; thanks for the sharing! Very well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Burleson, Karen Lynn. :)
Reviewed by George Carroll 4/27/2007
The same goes for the bad principals. Tenure should be done away with.
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