Thompson: Disposable Teachers?
Pallas and co-author Clare Buckley surveyed a large, anonymous sample of New York City middle school teachers, while the TNTP questioned a smaller number of teachers linked to their performance evaluations.
The TNTP report seemed to assume that "irreplacables" care only about implementing the TNTP's policies, and that the way to retain them is for principals to all believe the way that data-driven "reformers" believe. Inexplicably, the all-important issues of student behavior and discipline were missing from the TNTP's study.
Pallas and Buckley learned that all teachers have a life outside of school and that health problems, long commutes, raising kids, and caring for elderly parents can have an effect on teachers' careers. Pallas and Buckley were told that teachers are more likely to leave the classrooms if they did not get adequate support from their principals. Moreover, teachers are less satisfied with the leadership in low-achieving high-needs schools.
Pallas also was less sanguine than the TNTP authors about their ability to identify those teachers who are “irreplaceable.” Pallas asks who the others are—"Expendable? Disposable? Unsalvageable? Superfluous?" - JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via.