Tuesday, August 10, 2010


“Edujobs”—what an awful name. Have you tried to say it?

The measure itself, $10 billion to save teacher jobs, has been controversial for many reasons, including its funding source. (Take the money from Race to the Top? Why do you hate school reform so much? Take the money from food stamps? Why do you hate poor people?) The details are being hashed out in Washington this week; in the meantime, it’s a good opportunity to fix your lens on what these teacher pink slips really mean. Were the teachers in your district really laid off, with the unemployment benefits and COBRA payments that come with that? Or are they still on the payroll but just had to clean out their classrooms and hope for reassignment? (No small thing, by the way. Seeing a teacher pull all those boxes out of his or her room at the end of the year is like watching a clown car unload. All those supplies! The classroom library! The folders. So many folders.)

I am interested, as always, in the practicalities of all this. What does it mean for schools, for teachers and most importantly for students for jobs to be in this limbo? Anything? Nothing? Are districts who didn’t wind up having to fire anyone going to get Edujobs money anyway, and if so, what will they do with it?

1 comment:

  1. We've now got a great experiment to watch, and it would be doubly valuable if done without hypocracy. The Administration has been justly criticized for pushing too fast on turnarounds, so that now districts have tons of money arriving but without nearly the time for adequate planning. Now, with both the Edujobs and also new rules foor Title spending (by now encouraging districts to invest in people as opposed the previous CYA spending on programs, consultants, pd, etc., as you correctly questioned)to avoid "falling off the cliff, districts face the same situation. Many now have plenty of money to hire people, but with no time to prepare.

    Clearly, mistakes will be made. I've complained about hurried turnaround efforts causing mistakes, but hiring people at this time of year will cause mistakes. When our school found itself in a huge crisis that forced us to hire eight teachers in October, one of those hires was great, one was good, and six were incompetent, and then we were stuck with them for years.

    Gosh, think of the benefit of being able to say that stuff happens, and the beginning of the year chaos is regretably, but now less move deliberatvely and collaboratively to figure out how to spend this money during the school year.