Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NYC to use failed teachers instead of new hires

They have to pay the incompetents anyway so why not? Too bad about the standard of education that the kids get

In an effort to cut costs and avoid teacher layoffs, the Department of Education on Wednesday ordered principals to fill vacancies with internal candidates only. As a result, aspiring teachers at education schools and members of programs like Teach for America — a corps of recent college graduates — and the city’s Teaching Fellows — which trains career professionals to become teachers — are scrambling for jobs.

Many are forwarding their résumés to charter schools and private schools; others are looking to the suburbs and across state lines. Some are reconsidering the teaching profession altogether.

“This was a pretty big bomb that dropped,” said Pam Ritchie, 43, a substitute teacher in Park Slope, Brooklyn, who had hoped the connections she developed would land her a permanent job in the fall. “I’m devastated.”

Ms. Ritchie was looking to leave behind the on-call lifestyle of a substitute teacher and finally have her own classroom with regular students and regular pay. “I have to stick with this until I get a job,” she said. “This is what I want to do.”

The Department of Education typically hires thousands of teachers for the start of school each September. In 2008, it hired 5,725 educators — 1,792 from the Teach for America and the Teaching Fellows programs, and 3,933 who, by and large, came from schools of education.

But this year, the department anticipates fewer openings and will not hire externally except in certain high-needs areas like speech therapy and bilingual special education. Instead, principals can fill spots only with internal candidates, including teachers from a reserve pool made up of those whose jobs have been eliminated and many who have earned unsatisfactory ratings.

Schools that opened in the past two years and are still expanding their ranks are also exempt from the hiring restrictions, as are charter schools.


The decline into anarchy of British schools

The need for police to be permanently stationed in British schools would have been unimaginable only a few decades ago

Police have been drafted in at almost a quarter of schools as part of an initiative to tackle classroom violence, gang membership and truancy, according to new figures. More than 5,000 state schools in England, including one in five primaries, have their own dedicated officer, it was disclosed. The Government said the number was around 10 times higher than previous estimates and insisted every school in the country could eventually get its own police officer. Labour claimed the drive improved child safety, cut expulsion rates and stopped pupils slipping into crime or joining gangs. Police also helped search pupils for weapons in some schools, ministers said.

Opposition MPs said it underlined the extent to which teachers were powerless to impose discipline. It is also feared the initiative drains limited police resources.

But Rod Jarman, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner, said: "Partnerships have helped to make the schools and the surrounding area safer places, evidenced through significant reductions in crime and antisocial behaviour and greater confidence of young people that police will deal with their issues. "Through these partnerships we are also better able tackle the causes of violent extremism and to deal with specific issues that are of concern to young people such as bullying, weapons, drugs, alcohol and gang culture."

The Safer Schools Partnership was introduced by David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, in 2002. Under the plan, some police officers are permanently based on the school site and others patrol schools as part of their beat. Ministers said police were used to deter crime and anti-social behaviour in corridors and classrooms, stopping children playing truant and helping pupils "at risk of offending or susceptible to violent extremism or gang culture".

They are also intended to help boost relations between the police and young people and provide "specialist support" for searching pupils suspected of attempting to smuggle weapons past the school gates. Teachers themselves have already been given legal powers to search pupils' clothes, bags and lockers for knives, but research suggests many are reluctant to use them.

On Monday, updated guidance was due to be launched by the Government, Youth Justice Board and the Association of Chief Police Officers about how to set up partnerships.

A survey of police forces also showed more than 5,000 schools already have dedicated officers. Previous figures suggested the number was nearer 500. It was disclosed that 45 per cent of secondary schools and 20 per cent of primaries are now involved.

But Nick Gibb, the Conservative shadow schools minister, said it showed some schools were out of control. The Tories have accused Labour of undermining headteachers' right to expel badly behaved pupils by allowing parents to challenge rulings - leading to many excluded children being reinstated. "We have reached a sorry state when thousands of policemen are stationed in primary and secondary schools in this country," he said. "We need to give heads and teachers powers they need to install discipline and not resort to using up valuable police time."

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said: "It's great news that over 5000 schools are already involved in Safer School Partnerships but I want every school to work with the police to keep young people safe and prevent problems with youth crime before they escalate." More than 5,000 state schools in England, including one in five primaries, have their own dedicated officer, it was disclosed.


Australian Universities demand easier passage for academic migrants

Hard to see any objection to this

UNIVERSITIES are urging the Government to ease immigration restrictions on academics to help head off a looming shortage as large numbers of baby-boomer professors and lecturers retire. Amid the fallout from the global financial crisis, the Government in March moved to cut the permanent skilled migration intake. But universities, which see migration as a way to overcome looming academic skills shortages, are warning that the move could leave the economy short when it recovers.

"There is generally a two-year time lag from immigration policy change to outcome, so as a response to the global financial crisis, this policy will do little to protect the jobs of Australian citizens in the short to medium term," Vicki Thomson, executive director of the Australian Technology Network group of five universities, said in a briefing paper. "In fact, it has the potential to see the economy left wanting precisely at the time we expect to see improved economic conditions."

The ATN is lobbying Immigration Minister Chris Evans to ease restrictions on academic migration to make it easier to recruit offshore amid rising competition globally for academics. Between 1994 and 2006, Australian universities employed more than 7000 academics from overseas on permanent or long-term arrangements. "This figure will need to grow expotentially to replace the exodus of academics leaving the workforce in the next 15 years," the ATN said.


1 comment:

Chris said...

Wow. That was definitely an informative piece of information. I'm still trying to digest all that text. Thank you.