A Hard Lesson for Teachers
By Dana Mattioli
Widespread layoffs caused by tight school budgets are forcing thousands of teachers out of the classroom, in some cases, permanently. Many are taking other jobs or considering changing careers, even as they anxiously hope to be recalled.
When school begins this month, as many as 100,000 of last year’s teachers won’t have jobs, resulting in an overall drop in education jobs in the U.S., estimates Carmen Quesada, director of field operations for the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union.
That’s a jolt to people drawn to teaching in part for its recession-proof reputation. The number of people working in local education has increased every year since 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That streak is now in jeopardy: Local schools employed fewer people overall, including nonteachers, in July, the latest month available, than in July 2008. The majority of the layoffs have involved nontenure teaching positions, with cuts determined by seniority.
So far Teach for America Inc., a nonprofit that places recent college graduates in low-income public schools, has yet to see any impact from the school cuts or interest from laid-off teachers, says Kerci Marcello Stroud, national communications director. The group saw a 42% increase in applications this year and expects to place its largest corps ever this school year: more than 4,000 new teachers, up from 3,700 last year.
But the recent news of budget cuts and layoffs on a local basis across the country may eventually limit the pool of new teachers.
“Students who are very competitive in the work force are smart enough to realize that there aren’t going to be jobs if the school districts around them are cutting back,” says Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. “They will pursue a different career."
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, August 10, 2009
100,000 Teachers Lose Jobs - But Not TFAers
This year, up to 100,000 teachers will be forced out of the profession due to budget cuts - the result of widespread greed, deregulation, and outright corruption on the part of Wall Street investment banks and crooked politicians. But one group of teachers needn't fret: those little darlings of the teaching profession, the TFAers. Your job is safe, o inexperienced neophytes, as the investment banks and corporate honchos paying for your training and backing your temporary position in public education are slick enough to cover your back. As for the rest of the dedicated teachers with actual degrees and more than 5 weeks of training, we're just cannon fodder for the financial juggernaut steamrolling the rest of the working class. Entire article available via the Wall Street Journal:
[also posted at OurGlobalEducation.com]
at 7:39 PM