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Central Falls Redux

So in the end Central Falls hired everyone back and will pay them more for concessions.

The school day will be extended by 30 minutes.  Teachers will spend an hour a week tutoring along with 90 minutes per week planning after school.  Evaluation will be more rigorous, and teachers will have up to 10 days of professional development in the summer.

For their efforts teachers will be paid an additional $3000/year plus $30/hour for professional development.

So is this enough to turn the school around?  Or will it look the same in 3 years? Books and apple  

Here’s why I’m wondering.  In New York State teachers can receive tenure after three years.  I never waited that long.  Usually if I wasn’t seeing real potential for excellence, I let the teacher go after two years.  It’s difficult for a teacher denied tenure to find another teaching job, so I figured he or she might connect with another district, put in a lot more effort this time, and end up tenured someplace else.

Twice in 15 years I was persuaded to wait until Year Three.  In both cases, the teacher improved significantly in that last year, so much so that I ended up recommending both for tenure.

It’s what happened in Year Four that still haunts me.  After being granted tenure, both regressed to being the teachers I had seen in their first two years.  Except now we were stuck.

So I’m wondering if Central Falls as a school will follow the same pattern:  significant improvement after the shock of being told jobs will be lost, but after the shock wears off, the same results for better pay.  Please let me be wrong.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Practical Leadership are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.