robertogreco + retention   7

Charter schools and “churn and burn”: How they’re trying to hold on to teachers by making them happier
"But as the charter school movement comes of age, school leaders are realizing that stability and consistency matter, and that good teachers aren’t widgets that can easily be replaced. As a result, schools are offering new perks designed to build sustainable staffs, like retirement plans, on-site childcare, and nutrition advice. They face an uphill battle, however, in countering the deeply ingrained perception that many charter jobs are high-velocity detours for young people on the way to something else. In part, they’re hoping to rebrand charter-school teaching as a viable long-term career option with the job security we associate with traditional public schools—at least up to a point.

While these changes can’t match the pensions, union protections, and tenure provisions teachers have at many traditional schools, they mark a significant shift for charters. Long-term teacher retention wasn’t a priority at Success Prep when the school opened in 2009, part of a radical reconstruction of the city’s long-troubled school system after Hurricane Katrina that involved opening dozens of new charter schools. The plan was to “constantly replace teachers with new teachers,” says Gangopadhyay, 35, while focusing on providing the staff with strong curricular professional development. Most of the founding teachers had just a couple years of experience in the classroom. (Although three had more than 10 years of experience teaching.) The average age was 29. First-year teachers at Success Prep make $44,295.

Because of the demanding nature of the job, departures were expected. Most teachers, Gangopadhyay then believed, had “a shelf life” at his school.

Throughout the charter sector, that’s largely been true. At the end of the 2008-2009 school year, almost a quarter of charter school teachers left their schools or the profession, compared to 15.5 percent in traditional public schools, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The transiency can be attributed to a few main causes: At urban charters like Success, which frequently serve mostly low-income, underprepared students of color, teachers are expected to work considerably longer hours than is typical—sometimes as much as 80 or 90 hours a week. Such charters, often referred to as “no excuses” schools, rely heavily on programs like Teach for America, which import young teachers for two-year commitments. And charter school teachers are far less likely to belong to unions, and have less job security as a result. While charter school leaders don’t necessarily plan on high turnover, it might be “a necessary byproduct” of an intense, results-driven approach, says Andy Rotherham, a co-founder of Bellwether Education, a nonprofit consulting organization that works with charter schools.

At Success Prep, teacher attrition has worsened over the years. In 2012 the school lost just three out of 24 teachers, but the following year, six more departed. As a result, all but one of the eighth-grade teachers were new last fall. The instability led to student misbehavior and classroom management problems early on in the school year according to John Gonzalez, a first-year eighth-grade math teacher. Students didn’t have relationships with most of their teachers, which made enforcing strict rules—already tough to sell to the young teens—even more difficult."
education  retention  teaching  teachers  employment  2015  successpreparatoryacademy  kipp  tfa  teachforamerica  stability  yesprep  charterschools 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Change That Doesn’t Last | The American Conservative
"Because students compartmentalize in this way, faculty members in other disciplines often come up to those of us who teach English writing to complain that we haven’t taught students the basics of research, organization, grammar, and style. When we say that we do indeed teach all those skills, and that the very students who are so manifestly incompetent in their classes were once competent in ours, we’re greeted with disbelief. But it’s true. Students forget what they’ve learned — often.

But here’s the thing: when college students forget what they learned about writing in their freshman comp class, or when Chicago teenagers forget what they learned about nonviolent options in their group therapy sessions, they don’t do nothing: instead, they do something that they learned to do at an earlier point, something that they fall back on as natural. So, for example, college students frequently set aside everything they learned in their freshman-year composition class and resume the way they were taught to write in high school.

Now, this is not all just a matter of age and mental development. One reason high-school models of writing stick with students is that that tend to be inflexible and highly rule-based, and so are relatively easy to follow. But still all these examples raise for me a key question: when and how do young people form those strong and lasting habits — the ones that prove so difficult to dislodge later on?

Nobody is ever too old to learn, and I feel that I have had a good deal of success over the years in teaching my students new habits, but by the time people reach their nineteenth year they are remarkably, and often alarmingly, fully-formed in their mental approach to the world. So who are the teachers, and what are the social and familial and cultural forces, that are getting to young people at the age of maximal impressionability? And what might that age be for the various skills and tendencies that we want young people to form — or not to form?"
change  persistence  learning  teaching  schools  forgetting  compartmentalization  students  frustration  2013  alanjacobs  writing  retention 
july 2013 by robertogreco
News: Catching Up to Canada - Inside Higher Ed
"So what might the United States do to catch up to Canada? Or, as Parkin put it, "We're giving you our pointers so that you can help President Obama meet his goal."
canada  us  education  highereducation  international  competition  enrollment  retention  accessibility  rankings  communitycolleges  oecd  income  competitiveness  graduationrates 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Retention
"the retention issues Dan isolates here are in my observation the force that bends teachers in a more progressive direction over a long career (noting that inertia is generally very, very strong in teaching practice). You get down the process of navigating most of your kids through the courses you're assigned to teach, everything seems fine, then at some point you realize it doesn't really stick, and small tweaks don't help. This is when you start understanding how important "less is more" is, question the balance between covering content and things like "habits of mind," see how interdisciplinary work can reinforce and recontextualize important concepts, etc., etc."
education  teaching  retention  philosophy  progressive  assessment  tcsnmy  cv  content  skills  students  learning  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Education Next - Photo Finish
"The results of our study of New York City public school teachers confirm a simple truth: some teachers are considerably better than others at helping students learn. For example, elementary-school students who have a teacher who performs in the top quartile of all elementary-school teachers learn 33 percent of a standard deviation more (substantially more) in math in a year than students who have a teacher who performs in the bottom quartile. Yet as we embrace this piece of conventional wisdom, we must discard another: the widespread sentiment that there are large differences in effectiveness between traditionally certified teachers and uncertified or alternatively certified teachers. The greatest potential for school districts to improve student achievement seems to rest not in regulating minimum qualifications for new teachers but in selectively retaining those teachers who are most effective during their first years of teaching. "
teaching  schools  policy  certification  experience  leadership  retention  assessment  management  administration 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Will at Work Learning: People remember 10%, 20%...Oh Really?
"It will seem obvious, but each and every one of us must take responsibility for the information we transmit to ensure its integrity. More importantly, we must be actively skeptical of the information we receive."
myths  myth  cognition  coneofexperience  pseudoscience  pedagogy  education  statistics  learning  teaching  training  memory  trust  information  literacy  reading  knowledge  instruction  learningstyles  experience  research  media  retention  debunking  coneoflearning 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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