Each year, CMS challenges itself to recruit enough teachers so that each school will be fully staffed before students arrive on the first day. But teacher shortage is only a red herring. The true culprit is keeping teachers -- especially the new teachers, who comprise the majority of the teachers who quit CMS. (Of the 1,329 teachers who left in 01-02, only 247 of them were tenured.)
Sadly, it's often the best and the brightest who are the first to go.
Voices From the Trenches
Meet Richard. He taught in Charlotte Mecklenburg County during the 2002-2003 school year. He graduated cum laude from a top 25 university in three years, and earned his masters in one year. He left teaching within the first year. He was one of the best and the brightest. He is now a statistic. Here is what he had to say:
I entered the profession because I really enjoy teaching, I love intellectual experience, I care about kids, and I'm very, very passionate about helping disadvantaged children get greater opportunities. The chance to make a difference in lives and care for people is why I got into the profession.
The pay issue didn't bother me. I make twice as much money now as I did then, but I still live a $28,000 dollar lifestyle. The only difference is that I will own a house sooner than I would as a teacher.
I absolutely hated teaching. I was already counting the days until I would quit in June and leave the profession. There are so many reasons.
First, I hated how disrespectful, rude, and cruel students were. I felt like I came to school every day to be persecuted. Students had absolutely no respect for people, much less authority. Trying to send kids to the office was a joke. They wanted to go there because nothing would happen. The system handcuffs the school from really punishing kids. I dreaded going to work because I was going to be torn down for six hours.
Second, most of my kids could hardly read. I was trying to teach 10th grade English and my kids lacked basic skills. I couldn't do what I was trained to do.
Third, I was asked and expected to do way too much. I know that sounds ridiculous, but way too much responsibility is allocated to teachers. On top of grading papers, we're expected to do extra-curricular activities, attend so many pointless meetings, join committees, etc.
I currently am an account executive for a medical software company, managing accounts over a seven-state range. I have a significant position with a great deal of responsibility, but I don't work nearly as much nor as hard (as a schoolteacher).
I felt that the school stood in my way of doing my job. I wanted to plan good lessons, work with students, and dedicate attention to grading, but so much of my time was dedicated to stupid crap like paperwork and in-service training that was not even close to being beneficial. I would spend 30 minutes a day putting a lesson plan into the proper form. It had nothing to do with content, simply putting the lesson into a format the school district wanted.
I could not handle working for such stupid people. I wouldn't hire the administrators in any school that I have taught or worked in to run a Kool-Aid stand, much less a school. The administrators were incompetent and unsophisticated.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but today my bosses impress me. I learn from them every day. They're like heroes to me. My bosses in Charlotte, with the exception of the teachers I worked with, were a joke. They were so unimpressive, and I didn't have a whole lot of faith in where they were taking us.
I couldn't handle being talked to like I was a six-year-old. I had to sign a sheet when I came into work. I was policed about my duty as if I was a child. It was absurd. I was treated with more respect in high school than when I taught.
Make no mistake. Richard isn't just a bitter young kid who couldn't handle real work. His concerns align with those expressed by many former, and more experienced, teachers.
Ron Eaddy, newly retired after 42 years, his last eight and a half years being in Charlotte schools, says:
It is the coupling of low pay with the workload and stress that cause them (new teachers) to leave. My suggestion would be to give new teachers a reduced workload for two years.
Unless you have taught today, you don't understand the extraordinary amount of requirements that are placed on teachers. There is a constant stream of paperwork involving meeting the needs of children with an infinite variety of learning or physical difficulties -- not only the paperwork but the meetings involved to set up the appropriate accommodations and weekly reports that must be filled out for most of these children.
There are also team meetings and grade level meetings that occur weekly. There are also meetings about testing (Quarterly Evaluations, End of Grade and End of Course Tests) and meetings about evaluating test results.
A planning period is given to each teacher, but it's usually used for meetings or conferences with parents. Telephone calls are always there for poor performing students, poor behaving students or just responding to varied parental concerns.
Your lunch periods are not totally yours. You must monitor the behavior and table clean-up.
Lesson plans, correcting papers, creating tests, and duplicating tests and handouts require considerable time to do a good job. A seasoned teacher has knowledge of the material, a "feel" for what each lesson requires, and a stockpile of books and handouts from which to draw. A new teacher must spend more time getting organized and planning each day.
Also, new teachers should receive extraordinary support from their administrators in handling discipline problems. Student behavior can be a very crucial part of the new teacher's decision to continue teaching or not. There has been a breakdown of discipline for many children, but nevertheless the teacher has the problem to face. Some of my administrators have been wonderful in assisting teachers. Others have taken every effort to avoid any unpleasantness or paperwork.
Now meet Liz Williams. Like Richard and Ron, she's taught in Charlotte. Like them, she believes that money is not the issue. Unlike them, she has served as an administrator, as well as a teacher. Mrs. Williams has worked in four CMS schools, and has been in the business for 30 years. Here is what this veteran educator had to say:
Once you secure a teaching position, you're overwhelmed with requirements to meet, standards, test scores, discipline, workshops, renewal credits, etc. So much is provided as guidelines, requirements, lesson designs, etc., that your creativity is no longer of value, and there is no outlet for your input.
In the search for uniformity among schools, everything became standardized. New teachers are stifled and frustrated by being told what to do, when, and how.
Most folks would say financial rewards would keep teachers in the field, but I don't think that's the answer, although it would be readily accepted and deserved. I think teachers would like some discretionary time where they could plan, meet, and share with other new teachers.
At one time, it (teaching) was a status position appreciated by parents and the community. I think a renewal of their importance and value through the creation of a new culture would help.
CMS authorities would do well to listen to their former teachers. The problem is that they think they are. CMS funnels much time, energy, and money into recruiting and retaining excellent teachers each year. The system holds a massive job fair, offers monetary bonuses of $1,000-$2,500 to new teachers who sign contracts by June 15, and boasts a new teacher support program that began in 1997. But still, new teachers continue to leave.
CMS may think it's doing its best to satisfy its teachers, but results of a recent survey of local school leaders shows that, simply put, it's not working. According to CMS, when asked to grade the system's overall performance, only 6 percent of teachers gave CMS an "A." Most awarded CMS a "C," while 36 percent gave it a "B," 13 percent said "D," and 4 percent gave it an "F." In addition, a mere 25 percent of CMS teachers strongly agreed that their school's morale is good. Fifteen percent strongly disagreed, 20 percent disagreed somewhat, 38 percent somewhat agreed, and the rest were indifferent.
Problems With the Plan
In a recent report published on its website at www.cms.k12.nc.us, CMS shared with the public its proposed solutions to meet its 2005 goals regarding teacher recruitment, retention, and deployment. Although the plan isn't an official part of the district's Goals 2005, CMS spokesperson Jerri Haigler says that the strategies presented in the plan will move the district forward in achieving its academic achievement goals.
The total plan, not including two solutions yet to be determined, will require a little over $4 million in funding -- and a miracle, considering that CMS Superintendent Dr. James Pughsley expects to lower the attrition rate from 2001-02's 19.31 percent to 15 percent by July 2003 and 10 percent by July 2004. To CMS's credit, the turnover rate has decreased over the past three years from approximately 22 percent in 2000-2001 to 19 percent in 2001-2002 to 16 percent in 2002-2003, one percentage point off the goal. Still, Dr. Pughsley's dream of 10 percent turnover by next July will remain just that until he chooses to listen to precisely the people he's trying to understand.
There are four major kinks in CMS's mission -- not to mention a few gray areas where money could be reallocated to something useful such as, say, buying needed Bunsen burners or maybe replacing novels whose covers have been torn off. For instance, do we really need to spend $72,333 dollars to hire an analyst who will maintain already-teamed CMS analysts but will reorganize them by elementary, middle, and high school levels?
The first major problem is Dr. Pughsley's limited transfer plan, which CMS sees as an answer to the recruitment problem. CMS recruitment planners want to decrease the flexibility teachers once enjoyed when choosing where to transfer within CMS because, they say, it delays new teacher placement.
Haigler says, "The change in the transfer policy was administered this year to assist with equity throughout the district. Our goal in CMS is to have top quality teachers throughout the district. Even with the transfer limitations, teachers still had a number of options to transfer in every choice zone within the district."
While the plan sounds innocent, the real victims are the teachers. Twenty-six schools were closed to teacher transfers for the 2003-2004 school year. While CMS officials may think teachers are merely upset because they can't switch to the system's top schools, Charlotte Teachers Association President Judy Kidd says teachers don't want to leave schools just to get away from a low socioeconomic status. Like any other normal professional, they seek the opportunity to shorten commute times, gain more managerial support, or to work with different materials. With any type of restriction, those opportunities become limited. Whether the CMS limited transfer plan helps equity or not is debatable, but there's no doubt that barring teachers from 26 selected schools will hurt Pughsley's goal of retaining teachers who are already onboard. Kidd, in fact, says she knows of several experienced teachers who might leave if the district denies them the freedom to better their circumstances. These are casualties CMS can't really afford.
The implications of the limited transfer plan are possibly farther reaching than Pughsley imagined. Take this scenario, for example: A mere two weeks before school opens, a principal finds out that one of his longtime Advanced Placement teachers must resign due to serious health problems. Normally, he would turn to a qualified pool of teachers within the system; however, since he works for one of the plan's closed schools, he may only turn to the pool of new teacher applicants or to an already overloaded staff member who may or may not be qualified to teach the material.
The second problem concerns CMS' 2005 retention goals. Since a large portion of the new teachers who leave lack complete licensure, CMS wants to help them get it in a quicker, less costly way; therefore, CMS is proposing a voluntary two-week boot camp.
Haigler says, "The two-week teacher camp, which began on June 24, is designed for lateral entry teachers who have the subject matter expertise but lack the classroom experience and training. This two-week camp will provide lateral entry teachers with the skills they need to be successful in the classroom."
Perhaps the camp will provide them with enough skill for the first day when students are too nervous to misbehave, but a crash course can't replace a year or more of quality teacher preparation. And since studies show that a major factor in a new teacher's decision to quit is lack of preparation, CMS will actually be increasing the odds for their two-week trainees to flee the school system come Fall.
A third problem involves CMS's mentoring program.
Haigler says, "Mentors within the district provide support to new teachers and assist them with the skills needed to teach all children."
That may be what CMS intends, but as anyone familiar with the reality of teaching in Charlotte public schools knows, the mentoring program is widely regarded as less than effective, at best.
Former teacher Ron Eaddy says, "I feel that CMS is trying to help new teachers. A mentor is assigned to help each teacher, but often the mentor is from another grade and can't meet with the teacher during planning time, or be familiar with the particular subject area."
Nancy Holland, who has taught and mentored in different CMS schools including Independence, Eastway, Olympic, and Myers Park High, agrees. "It (the mentor program) does not work," she states. "It's just more paperwork and one more thing to worry about for new teachers."
The fourth, and potentially the biggest mistake in CMS's plan involves the school system using money as one of its primary tools to retain teachers. As part of its recruitment efforts, CMS offers new teachers monetary bonuses of $1,000-$2,500 if they sign contracts by June 15.
To retain teachers, CMS is planning on spilling $1,458,624 million dollars into the Milken Foundation's Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), which establishes differentiated pay for levels of expertise. CMS officials also plan on paying for PRAXIS testing if it is completed by the 1st semester of teaching. While extra money and/or money-saving options would certainly help a struggling teacher, financial incentives aren't the kind of bait that will keep a teacher coming back for more. Teachers enter the profession because they have a love of learning or a genuine concern for young people. Not one teacher that I've ever talked to has said that more money could make them stay. Think about it. How many teachers do you hear talking about the BMW or the beach house they're going to buy one day?
We asked why the majority of CMS retention incentives are financial in nature, and Haigler replied, "Recruiting teachers is highly competitive. Many states surrounding North Carolina are able to offer a much higher level of pay to attract teachers. Therefore, our incentives to recruit teachers are financial in nature."
CMS's response missed the point of the question, which was about retention, not recruitment. Perhaps this reaffirms that the school leaders' focus is on getting and not keeping teachers.
What, then, is the answer? It wouldn't be fair to say that CMS should be doing what the 10 NC schools with the lowest turnover are doing. Those schools are significantly smaller, which means their problems can be handled more intimately and efficiently.
But it would be fair to suggest that CMS learn a lesson or two from Wake County, the second largest in the state. The Wake system's turnover rate was 89th in the state, compared to Charlotte's ranking as having the state's ninth highest rate.
Staunch defenders of CMS might argue that Wake County retains more teachers because it's less urban and therefore sees fewer problem students. But that would be a fallacy. The reason Wake County is experiencing a 9.48 percent turnover rate while CMS can only dream of reaching 10 percent one day is that Wake officials not only acknowledge that their teachers are the key to success, they treat them that way.
CMS has tried to emulate Wake in the past by borrowing its grading system. It has also started a Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Council like the one Wake Superintendent Bill McNeal began during the 2001-2002 school year. The key to their success, however, is that the Wake Board of Education is not only listening to its teachers, it's making real changes based upon their advice.
Through its work and the Board's willingness to offer change-making support, Wake's TAC was able to decrease the enormous amount of classroom level paperwork forced upon teachers and restructure the school day to give teachers more planning, networking, and teaming time.
CMS may offer higher salaries and have more teachers Nationally Board Certified, but, somehow, Wake County has achieved much lower teacher turnover. Which is more important?
Wake's commitment to valuing and respecting its teachers as true professionals is evident even in its budget proposal for the coming years. Superintendent McNeal has let it be known he is unwilling to cut money from raising teachers' salaries and keeping class sizes to a minimum, even if it means sacrificing some funds accorded to President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act.
Federal and State Masterminds
In January 2001, Bush announced, pen in hand, "These reforms express my deep belief in our public schools and their mission to build the mind and character of every child, from every background, in every part of America."
Noble? Yes. Well planned? No. The top objectives listed under the act are greater flexibility for states, school districts, and schools; increased accountability; more choices for parents and students; and putting reading first. But none of these goals can be achieved without a permanent cadre of quality teachers.
So why isn't reduction of teacher turnover included in the act's objectives? Well, actually, it is -- right under the priority status of "Other Major Program Changes." Title II of the act devotes $2.85 billion dollars to "preparing, training, and recruiting" quality principals and teachers. Which is well and good, but, class, please tell me the very important missing word. That's right. Retaining! It doesn't matter how much money the government fuels into preparation, training, and recruiting if those same teachers decide not to keep on teaching, which is exactly what's happening.
Like a blind man playing darts, Bush can't see that his plan is off-target. He seems to believe that the teacher turnover problem will be fixed if he can have a capable, warm body in each and every room. Well, he may be right, temporarily -- until the next school year when he has to fill the same number of slots again.
Akin to the federal masterminds, state educational leaders often spend their time fighting the wrong problems. North Carolina has a lot to be proud of. It's committed to the standards set by the Southern Regional Education Board, its average SAT score is up by six points, and it's 21st in the nation for teacher salaries, with an average of $42,959. Still, the number of teachers North Carolina hired for the 2001-02 school year is nearly identical to the number hired the year before.
Phil Kirk, State Board of Education Chairman, says, "With turnover rates this high, we need to recruit approximately 11,000 new teachers annually across the state. ..we must continue seeking ways to improve the stability of the teaching profession."
The NC Board of Education's Strategic Plan for Excellent Schools plainly states, "Test scores and rankings make headlines in education news, but quality teachers, principals and other staff are the key to North Carolina's continuing public school improvement."
Why then have these visionaries made "Quality Teachers, Administrators, and Staff" their strategic priority number three instead of number one? Until our national, state, and local educational leaders are willing to make teacher retention their main concern, quality teachers will continue to be this century's new dropout problem.
Learning From Experience
I should know. Like Richard, I graduated with honors and a masters in teaching, ready to make a difference. My first year, in Charleston, SC, was tough. Although my hours were supposed to be from 8am to 3:15pm, I rarely returned home before 5:30 due to my assigned duty as head of the cheerleading program. When I didn't have practice or a game to supervise, I had to attend new teacher support meetings. These were designed to ease the stress of the first year; however, they only added another time constraint.
When I did finally get home, my job wasn't over. In order to be a good teacher, I had to grade papers in a timely manner, record grades regularly, return phone calls and e-mails, prepare test questions, and complete paperwork from the school. My planning period didn't give me time to get those matters taken care of since I had to run back and forth to the front office, make copies, tutor students who were behind or needed to make up missed work, and write my lesson plans in the correct format for the following day.
Even though I felt overwhelmed, I knew that feeling would pass over time as I accumulated materials and experience. And I loved the exchange of learning between my students and me. I didn't even get stuck on the student who sold marijuana from my trailer porch or the one who called me a stupid bitch for giving her an A- instead of an A. They didn't matter as much as the student who left an illustrated poem on my desk thanking me for getting him excited about writing and life again, or the students who showed up early just to share with me the short stories or poetry they had written.
I loved how vital teaching made me feel, but after awhile I couldn't handle the work environment. I made enough money to pay my bills, but I was always on edge. I rarely had time to relax during my 25-minute lunch period, and from 8am until bedtime it was go, go, go. I began to envy my friends who took a 45-minute lunch break, could use the bathroom whenever they had to go, and were able to leave work behind.
I was also not receiving any support from the principal or from three of the four assistant principals. Instead of providing an assistant coach to help with my extracurricular duties as they promised when hiring me, they berated me for even asking. Throughout the year, veteran teachers told me to get out while I could. I contemplated giving up, but I couldn't. I had found such a special opportunity to affect young people's lives. I vowed that I'd give it another shot in a school where the administration was supportive.
So I moved from Charleston to Charlotte and found a job with Myers Park High. I don't have enough nice things to say about Dr. Bill Anderson and his administrative staff. When I had a student who was prohibiting the rest of the class from learning, she was removed. When I had a concern, the principal handled the matter firmly but treated me with understanding and respect.
Unlike South Carolina, North Carolina schools aren't allowed to force extracurricular duties on new teachers, so I had much more time this school year to develop my lessons.
Still, just like everywhere, as a new teacher I was handed the class that no one wanted to teach. And just like everywhere, many experienced teachers were simply not there to help. Some didn't care. Others were angry. Think about it. They've been working at a job for 20-plus years, and aside from a trivial pay increase, they're no more important or powerful than the new face that comes traipsing down the hall.
Resources and facilities were just as limited. I never had a personal computer to use. I sometimes had to purchase my own paper to make needed handouts or tests. I rarely had enough class sets of novels in good condition. Heck, I didn't even have a classroom of my own. I thought it was bad when I was given a trailer in Charleston. Imagine being given a cart to push around all day. Now imagine what happens when it rains.
I also still had to battle the issue of never having enough time, which CMS worsened by taking away teacher workdays instead of forgiving some of the ice storm days. And the teacher in-services that were held at the beginning of the year were times of thumb twiddling, monotone lecturing, and impractical information.
Even though I still taught some special students this year and formed some lasting memories, I decided to heed the advice of older teachers and my instinct. I would walk down the hall, pushing my cart, looking into the faces of women and men who had been teaching for most of their adult lives. Nine times out of 10, I didn't see a trace of excitement or enthusiasm. I just saw weary, downtrodden, disillusioned expressions. I was determined to not become one of them.
So now I'm job hunting. And I'm no fool; I know there will be downsides to any job. I'm just not willing to remain in a profession that doesn't treat its workers as just that -- professionals. And the point is, I'm just one of thousands nationwide in this epidemic of teachers fleeing the classroom.
Even if Dr. Pughsley chooses to ignore what his former employees have said in his quest for 10 percent turnover, there can at least be hope that he'll interview the unwitting flock of sheep he's leading to the slaughter this fall when the majority of them decide to head for greener pastures next summer.
Note: The 2002-2003 Annual Teacher Turnover Report will go to the State Board of Education in September and will be available shortly thereafter at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/recruit/.
CMS Plans for Teacher Retention
Estimated Cost: $2,763,728 (not including two strategies that are to be determined)
Issue 1: Overall turnover rate is higher than the state average and needs to be reduced.
Proposed strategy 1: Ongoing training and support for principals and assistant principals for retention purposes through Administrative Leadership Program. Cost: N/A
Proposed strategy 2: Conduct reliable survey of teachers to determine motivators to remain with CMS. Cost: $12,800
Proposed strategy 3: Continue and refine three-year induction program to enhance teachers' instructional and student management skills and competencies. Cost: N/A
Proposed strategy 4: Provide Employee Wellness Program and Wellness Fair. Cost: $9,700
Proposed strategy 5: Replicate Regional Superintendent meetings with new teachers used previously in Region B. Cost: N/A.
Issue 2: Turnover in Equity Plus schools is higher than other schools.
Proposed strategy 1: Pilot the Milken Foundation's Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) which establishes differentiated pay for levels of expertise and provides professional development. Cost: $1,458,624.
Proposed strategy 2: Increase the number of full-time mentors in Equity Plus schools. Cost: $972,570.
Proposed strategy 3: Continue to assess and revise grant initiatives and replicate successful practices as appropriate. Cost: N/A
Proposed strategy 4: Interview and assess effective retention strategies of Equity Plus school principals who produce low turnover. Cost: Funded by CAFE.
Issue 3: Licensure deficiencies caused the largest number of separations in the Teacher Turnover Report for 2002-03.
Proposed Strategy 1: Continue to advocate a legislative agenda that supports reasonable standards for new teachers and out of state candidates. Cost: N/A.
Proposed Strategy 2: Pursue the American Board licensure passport (Spring 2003) and the development of a CMS alternative entry program. Cost: TBD.
Proposed Strategy 3: Implement case manager plan for monitoring the licensure status and support of provisionally licensed and/or lateral entry teachers. Cost: $110,628.
Proposed Strategy 4: Pay for PRAXIS testing if it is completed by the 1st semester. Cost: $128,330.
Issue 4: Lateral entry teachers are under pressure to complete costly coursework in a limited period of time.
Proposed Strategy: Provide voluntary 2-233k Boot Camp for lateral entry teacher prior to the start of school. Cost: $10,000.
Issue 5: Data available for analysis needs to be disaggregated thoroughly and on a regular basis in order to consistently implement effective strategies.
Proposed Strategy: Hire a data analyst for continuous quality/process improvement. Cost: $61,076.
Issue 6: Teacher recognition efforts are limited to small CMS initiatives and several external programs.
Proposed Strategy: CMS Teacher of the Year event with corporate sponsors. Cost: TBD
Teachers' Plan for Retention
This plan was produced by consulting with a number of present and former CMS teachers. We asked for a response to these ideas from CMS, which are included here.
Total Estimated Cost: $952,800 (not including one strategy to be determined).
Issue 1: Teachers do not have adequate time to relax or to finish all their work.
Proposed Strategy 1: Stop requiring teachers to put their lesson plans into a set format on paper. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "Focused lesson plans allow teachers to plan and prepare for the instructional day. They also serve as a measurement tool for what has been covered with students in the North Carolina Course of Study."
Proposed Strategy 2: Enlist police to perform lunch and bus duties to give teachers more planning and lunchtime. Cost: Could be funded by the Police Dept.
CMS Response: None given
Proposed Strategy 3: Provide a clerical staff member in each middle and high school responsible for making copies, entering grades into a computer system, and making phone calls regarding minor matters if needed. Cost: $940,000 (one employee at each of the 47 schools at $20,000 a year).
CMS Response: "At this time, budgetary constraints would not allow CMS to provide additional clerical staff at the middle and high school level."
Issue 2: Teachers do not feel enough support from administrators.
Proposed Strategy 1: Train and direct administrators to discipline more strictly, promptly, and consistently. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "The district's Rights and Responsibilities handbook is designed to provide fair and consistent discipline throughout the district. This handbook clearly outlines the consequences associated with various behaviors. The expectation of the district is that every administrator will follow this handbook."
Proposed Strategy 2: Make it mandatory for every teacher to evaluate his/her administrators, with rewards and penalties for the results. Cost: $12,800 (same as CMS's proposed surveys)
CMS Response: "A teacher survey is already administered within CMS. This survey is used as part of the principal's evaluation."
Issue 3: New teachers are bombarded and burn out early.
Proposed Strategy 1: Ensure that new teachers receive the smaller, better behaved classes in order to prepare for more challenging students and situations down the road. Cost: N/A.
CMS Response: "It is important for teachers to receive a balance of students and to develop the skills necessary to teach every child. Mentors within the district provide support to new teachers and assist them with the skills needed to teach all children."
Proposed Strategy 2: Give new teachers the option of attending in-services or working in their classrooms. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "In order for new teachers to enhance the quality of their instructional programming in the classroom, it is important for them to attend professional development opportunities. These in-service opportunities are designed by the district's curriculum and instruction office to support new teachers in the classroom."
Proposed Strategy 3: Give new teachers classrooms or trailers. Do not expect them to push around a cart or share a room with a veteran teacher. Cost: TBD
CMS Response: "Currently we are experiencing a tremendous need for additional space in the district. This year, we will add 3,200 new students to the district. Our construction program cannot keep up with the growth we're experiencing. However, we need to ensure that all teachers (new and experienced) have the resources and space needed to adequately do their job."
Issue 4: Many teachers do not feel they are treated as professional adults.
Proposed Strategy 1: Allow teachers to select the topic, speaker, and content for in-service days within the present budget. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "The expertise and leadership at the central office is used to identify key topics and presenters for in-service; however, teacher input could be considered in that selection."
Proposed Strategy 2: As a teacher's tenure increases, provide more perks and power other than a salary increase. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "Although budget constraints may limit this, CMS could review suggestions from teachers related to perks for additional years of service."
Proposed Strategy 3: Don't force teachers to sign in or out for the school day. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: None given
Proposed Strategy 4: Allow teachers to leave campus if they feel they need to during lunch and planning periods with penalties if they abuse the privilege. Cost: N/A
CMS Response: "The purpose of time away from the classroom is for planning."