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Study concludes that contract rules have unintended consequences

A study by The New Teacher Project, “Unintended Consequences: The Case for Reforming the Staffing Rules in Urban Teachers Union Contracts,” released in November, analyzed labor contract rules that affected procedures for newly hired teachers, voluntary transfers, and “excessed teachers” (those whose positions were eliminated for a variety of reasons). It identified four ways that labor contract rules undermine effective staffing in urban schools:

  • They force principals to hire large numbers of teachers they do not want and who may not be a good fit for the job and their school.
  • It caused poor-performing teachers to be transferred from school to school rather than dismissed.
  • Late-hiring practices result in a loss of new teacher applicants, including the best new teachers.
  • Novice teachers, regardless of their contribution to their school, are considered expendable.

The study concluded that without significant change to staffing rules, another generation of urban students will bear the cost of well-intentioned but inadequate school-improvement efforts.

Read complete study results.

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