Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Hired, First Fired Punishes Expert Teachers

Steve Owens has posted quite a fine article about the single salary schedule used by most districts to determine teacher salaries.

I'm afraid Mr. Owens' article leaves out some important information about how most schools actually implement their single salary schedules.

The single salary schedule rewards only teachers who stay in the same district their entire career. A teacher who moves to a new district is deemed an out-of-district teacher. IF such a teacher can even be hired ( and the more years of experience, the more unemployable), that teacher will have to take a pay cut to the level of 5 years since most district will give credit for no more than 5 years of experience.

Pity the teacher who returns to the US after decades of experience overseas as a DODDS teacher. They are out-of-district for every district in America. They have to be willing to take a steep pay cut relative to their education (most have Masters degrees) and experience. They are bargain basement teachers, but most schools consider their extra pay too high when compared to a new graduate with no experience “because we have budget cuts, doncha know?”

Mr. Owens states, “Seniority is "last in, first out" which prevents veteran teachers from being terminated in favor of younger, cheaper workers.” Last in, first out also guarantees that newly hired expert teachers will be the first let go, in favor of younger, cheaper teachers, never mind the expert teacher is a bargain to begin with.

He also states, “A large population of career educators has stuck around, and has acquired additional training and education.” It is just those teachers, who should be rewarded, who are punished by the way the single salary schedule is implemented in most districts.

Many private schools have similar single salary schedules and implement them with the same deleterious policies and effects.

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