Monday, November 21, 2005

"Pass the lemon", that popular game among principals in NYC public schools.

Nearly 40 percent of all public school principals in the city acknowledged "passing the lemon" urging incompetent, tenured teachers to relocate to another school instead of trying to have them fired, according to a new study released yesterday. The practice has been a convenient way for principals to bypass the lengthy firing process for teachers outlined in state law and teachers' contracts.

According to the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit consulting firm that helps school districts recruit and train teachers, 37 percent of the 434 principals surveyed last year admitted trying to push off poor teachers to other schools. Michelle Rhee, CEO of the organization, said the practice "may be a rational response to the inability to remove tenured teachers for poor performance." ...

Nearly a quarter of principals surveyed reported losing at least one handpicked beginning teacher to a senior teacher because of the transfer rules...

Principals union president Jill Levy, who's in contract talks with the city, acknowledged that principals have tried to pass off inept teachers to other schools. But she said they only did so because the system did not support efforts to fire them.

Teachers union president Randi Weingarten called the report "anti-teacher"...
[NY Post]
This brings to mind a former NYC public school teacher who wrote a good deal more detail about this.

The NYC Schools Chancellor claims the new labor contract will alleviate this problem. We shall see.