Firing Bad Teachers in L.A.: Just Try It!

The L.A. Weekly has a great and long expose on how very hard and expensive it is to get rid of bad teachers in the L.A. Unified School District, and how it almost never happens. I summarize and contexualize their points at my California news and politics blog "City of Angles."

Reason magazine produced a brilliant cartoon chart collaboration between John Stossel and Terry Colon about similar insane complications in getting rid of bad public school teachers in New York back in October 2006

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  • Joe M||

    Did anyone post this? It's huge, awesome news, and entirely related to the L.A. Weekly piece:

    Cedar Falls, RI School Superintendent Fires Entire Staff of High School

  • zoltan||

    Yes, why isn't Reason covering this?!?!?!

  • ||

    was gonna post that. good job Joe.

    apparently the town is a shithole, the median pay for teachers is 70k, the median income for the town is 22k.

  • ||

    FTFA: "The school superintendent, Frances Gallo, has developed a series of reforms to address the failure rate at Cedar Falls High School that would have involved the teachers doing a little extra work. The reforms included, "--adding 25 minutes to the school day, providing tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer."

    The teacher's don't do this already? This is a part of my contract, no questions asked, and I make far less than $70K/annum.

    We have faculty or department meetings every Monday of the year, and required tutorial periods where we are available to meet with students every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. In addition,while we don't have to eat with the kids, we do have lunch duty where we supervise the areas where students congregate to eat (we have a whole-school lunch block and kids are allowed to eat almost anywhere, inside or out, and are not restricted to cafeterias). We are also required to do some time in the summer, in the form of curriculum development and training, for which we are paid. It only adds up to about 5 or 6 days worth of summer work, and it's no big deal.

    These teachers are taking the district for a ride and it makes me ill to think about this type of abuse. It's one of those things that drives me nuts because it gives teachers a bad name, and not all schools or locals are this dysfunctional.

  • ||

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Teachers Union is far more dangerous to this country's future than Al-Qaeda.

    The whole organization needs to be eviscerated at this point. There is no hope of 'reform.'

  • No Name Guy||

    So help me out here:

    1) Why is it that teachers have this concept of tenure?

    2) Why are teachers SO special, that they deserve a job for life?

    3) What about tenure for other school employees, such as the janitor?

    4) What about tenure for other government employees? Why are teachers so special in comparison to cops or fire fighters or highway department employees?

    5) I got to get me some of that tenure here with my private sector employer - heck, then I could slack off all day and never produce diddly and STILL get paid for it.

  • Joe M||

    4) What about tenure for other government employees? Why are teachers so special in comparison to cops or fire fighters or highway department employees?

    Oh, don't go there. The cops and many other government employees get huge piles of ridiculous benefits, and de facto tenure in many cases.

  • No Name Guy||

    I'm not suggesting it, merely asking WHY THE DIFFERENCE. And by implication, saying that if fire fighers don't have tenure, then why do teachers.

    Unlike teachers, cops and firefighter and highway workers can actually be fired. (yeah, yeah, yeah...it's not easy in the case of cops, but it SOUNDS easier than with teachers).

  • Susan||

    1) Why is it that teachers have this concept of tenure?

    So they are protected, otherwise any parent complains that little johny didn't pass ant their gone.

    2) Why are teachers SO special, that they deserve a job for life?

    They are the most educated profesionals and vital to our children's future.

    3) What about tenure for other school employees, such as the janitor?

    Maybe they should?

    4) What about tenure for other government employees? Why are teachers so special in comparison to cops or fire fighters or highway department employees?

    Don't know.

    5) I got to get me some of that tenure here with my private sector employer - heck, then I could slack off all day and never produce diddly and STILL get paid for it.

    You don't in the private sector, but you get far more money. In exchange for a lot less money, teachers get good benefits and a slight bit more time off.

  • ||

    They are the most educated profesionals

    - highly unlikely. I would say doctors, lawyers or professors are more educated.

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