When Will We Start Protecting Children From Classroom Abuse?
School Choice Weekly #201
It seems every time you turn around, turn on the news, open a webpage, etc., someone new is being accused of sexual assault or harassment. Unfortunately, our nation’s classrooms are not an exception to the rampant abuse and immorality prevalent in modern society:
New York City education officials have rarely been eager to provide information about the Absent Teacher Reserve, a pool of fully paid, tenured teachers who haven’t found new positions after losing their old ones because of school closings, budget cuts, or disciplinary problems. Although some teachers are quickly hired out of the ATR, many remain for years, and almost one-third had unsatisfactory evaluations or faced disciplinary or legal charges.
Last summer, the Department of Education announced it would partly offset the cost of the ATR, which exceeded $150 million last year, by placing hundreds of the sidelined teachers in positions still vacant by late October. More than a month later, it has yet to provide records about the teachers or where they were placed.
Because high-poverty districts tend to have more open positions, advocates worry that the new policy could assign “struggling and less effective teachers to disproportionately serve students of color and low-income students.” To answer the question, two education advocacy groups jointly submitted a public records request just before Thanksgiving asking the DOE for non-identifiable information about the teachers and the names of their assigned schools.
People are demanding answers about how and why abusive teachers retain access to classrooms. (A New York City mother is actually suing the city for letting an alleged abuser retain his position.) But how many more innocent children will have to suffer before the situation is amended? Teachers unions are notorious for keeping their own employed, regardless of misconduct, so let’s start at the root of the problem before one more child is hurt.
IN THIS ISSUE:
School Choice Roundup
- CHARTERS: Charter schools in Buffalo, NY are fighting for equal funding.
- NEW CAREER: School choice is becoming more popular, and government schools are showing panic by creating a new career: “public education consultants.”
- D.C.: A D.C. teachers unions group says private schools are to blame for segregation.
- NEW JERSEY: After a New Jersey charter was denied, its founders are looking to start a private school instead.
- CHICAGO: Kids who attended a Chicago charter school achieve a lot more down the road.
Common Core and Curriculum Watch
- SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota could soon have slightly different state standards.
- CURSIVE: Some Republicans in Illinois don’t want to require kids to learn cursive.
- CALIFORNIA: A new report says only 30 percent of California high school freshmen will graduate from college.
- UNIONS: A Michigan teachers union was reportedly “shocked” to learn its contract would be shared with the public, who is paying for it.
- SOUTH CAROLINA: An influx of millions of more dollars into South Carolina’s school system has done nothing, as far as anyone can tell.
- START TIMES: Some Pennsylvania schools are experimenting with later school start times.