Can’t Win for Losing

Almost 6,500 New Jersey teachers will retire this summer - double last year’s number, and that has some people upset:

Sean Spiller, president of the Wayne Education Association, said his district had about 40 retirements at the end of this school year, up from 23 a year ago. He said several teachers expressed dismay at feeling “forced out.”

“It’s a big negative,” he said. “Anyone in this profession knows it takes time to become great at what you’re doing. … You’re excited when you’re younger and want to do well, but you become a master at the content, you hit your stride at year 10. To replace them with people learning the trade, for next year’s group of kids, it’s a disservice.”

I was about to write a post about how this is inconsistent with the complaint that layoffs terminate desperately needed new teachers. Each retirement means at least one, perhaps two, new teachers won’t be laid off. But as it turns out, someone else already wrote about it two months ago:

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) predicts massive retirements one day, and wholesale destruction of the labor market for new teachers three days later. Either the teachers’ union can’t add, or they think that they can have it both ways.

If the retirement of a veteran teacher is bad, and the layoff of a new teacher is bad, and trying to differentiate between an effective teacher and an ineffective teacher for dismissal is bad, then we’re paralyzed. And that’s worse.

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2 thoughts on “Can’t Win for Losing”

  1. I’ve only worked as a high school geography teacher for six years now (starting my seventh in the fall) and I think this post really exemplifies the double speak of the teacher’s unions.

    Like any union their job is to advocate for their clients and it’s not surprising that when dealing with an organization this big there are going to be some contradictory statements that are to be honest funny enough to be woven into a piece on the Daily Show with John Stewart.

  2. Pingback: Ed is Watching » Education Jobs Bailout Makes Even Less Sense In Light of the Big Picture

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