Is it difficult to fire ineffective teachers in Gwinnett? Yes, says new study.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute examined how hard it is to fire ineffective teachers in 25 school systems around the country. Among them was Gwinnett County, which rated a 5 out of 10 in terms of difficulty.

A 9 or 10 rating signifies it’s “easy to dismiss” a teacher deemed “ineffective.” No district earned a 9 or 10. Under Fordham’s rating, a 5 rating falls under “difficult to dismiss.”

Below is the chart Fordham created to summarize Gwinnett’s process.

You can read the full report — “Undue Process: Why Bad Teachers in Twenty-Five Diverse Districts Rarely Get Fired  — here.

In its analysis, Fordham sought to answer these questions:

  1. Does tenure protect veteran teachers from performance-based dismissal?
  2. How long does it take to dismiss an ineffective veteran teacher?
  3. How vulnerable is an ineffective veteran teacher’s dismissal to challenge?

gwx

Reader Comments 0

20 comments
Kirk Lunde
Kirk Lunde

I am disappointed in Maureen for even discussing this trash.

Starik
Starik

Too bad they didn't rate all the Atlanta area districts. Maybe the AJC will.

taylor48
taylor48

This study is ridiculous. First, they say that having six observations a year is a BAD thing. As a teacher (in Gwinnett), having six observations, while stressful on my end, means that my admins are actually GETTING INTO CLASSROOMS and not spending all day in their offices. How is that bad?? Secondly, they take points away for giving teachers the right to appeal their firings. Gwinnett sides with their administrators ALOT. Having a group outside the school system to appeal to isn't a bad thing. And, trust me, if you're in Gwinnett, and your test scores aren't cutting it, you'll hear about it. Not only do principals get data on how their school ranks in the county, they get data on how each GRADE LEVEL ranks on the county tests. You don't want to be the one who is the lowest in your grade level/department.

Of course, this is from the Fordham institute that promotes "educational reform." Cause everything that happens in a school is completely and entirely the fault of the teacher. There are no other factors that influence a child's education.

readcritic
readcritic

@taylor48 Gwinnett is not the only district that has issues with evaluations. What the public doesn't know is that it is very easy to get rid of teachers, especially in small (one high school) districts where the teachers can't transfer to another high school within the system. The TEKS evaluation stacks the deck against teachers. Administrators are able to write anything they choose without recourse. If a teacher dares to question what is going on in the school, he/she is labeled as a rebel or trouble-maker. One student turning around or off-task for even one minute during a 10-minute evaluation could result in comments deeming the teacher as substandard. Now, take into consideration the fact that the administrator has the power to schedule classes. One "favored" teacher will have classes of 15 students per class of IB or AP students who care about grades and education while another will be given classes of 35+ students who have issues such as ankle bracelets, truancy, behavior-disorders, incarceration, frequent suspensions, expulsions, pregnancies, grade failures in all classes, special inclusion students with 504 plans and IEPs, etc. The teacher is not allowed to refer students for discipline because it puts the school on the "dangerous school" list. The playing field is not level and the teacher cannot fight the evaluation. A bad evaluation allows the school to freeze the payscale of the targeted teacher. The Georgia State Board of Education then can revoke the teacher's certificate to teach. The public is not aware of the inequities of the evaluation system and many teachers don't know that it is very easy for an administrator to take away a teacher's livelihood. There is no weight assigned to the differences in class sizes or student populations. Theadministrator's freedom to write anything in a teacher's evaluation without including all the particulars of the situation from the teacher allows the administrator to have a very one-sided persecution document. Administrators use this weapon to get rid of veteran teachers who make more money and replace them with cheaper new-hires.

Ed Danger Watson
Ed Danger Watson

Do they define ineffective? If it's based on test scores then good for Gwinnett as that's the most ridiculous thing to rate teachers on especially when they are unable to pick the students in their classroom. If a teacher were given the worst of the worst students and they scored low, as expected, how is that the teachers fault that she had ineffective students? It's time to let teachers teach and stop grading everyone on standardized scores as that's not a life school you will use an adult, ever.

Sharona Thomas-Wilson
Sharona Thomas-Wilson

Solution: Allow teachers to leave for any reason with a 2 week notice. Teachers are like indentured servants forced to work with the threat of losing his/ her license.

Pelosied
Pelosied

Teachers' union bosses would portray this problem as one of their accomplishments.

And indeed, the $5 million in mostly out-of-state union money plowed into defeating the Opportunity School District in November was to extend this problem.

But under President Trump reform is coming.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@Pelosied Under President Trump a heck of a lot more than reform is coming.

Charlotte Manning Harrell
Charlotte Manning Harrell

An ineffective teacher can be fired even with tenure, but it takes a lot of work of documentation and face to face meetings with an effective principal. The principal is then in danger of loosing his/her job.

John Palmer
John Palmer

This is ridiculous. Teachers are on one-year contracts. It looks like this "rating" system knocks Gwinnett because they can't get rid of a teacher mid-year, and there is a *gasp* appeals process. This protects the teacher and the district, but most of all, it protects the kids. A teacher can't bolt mid-year, leaving kids to whoever the school can find, and the district can't do the same to the teacher. A teacher can have issues, and might not need to stay in the profession, but a parade of temporary substitutes is far worse. It seems like a score of "5" is a balanced score for school and teacher, and puts the ball in the administration's court to keep good teachers. The whole debate about "getting rid" of teachers is moot until the state gets serious about attracting high-quality young people to the profession, and figures out how to identify quality teachers (hint: it won't be by using crappy standardized test scores).

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

This is not a study. It is basically fake news – an opinion piece masquerading as quasi-research paid for by the conservative education think tank known as the Fordham Institute. it is sad that this is presented as worthy of consideration.

It sets up its own hypothesis that has no grounding in research. It’s like saying “If I don’t like a food then it’s unhealthy for everyone” as your premise and proceeding from there to determine all unhealthy foods.

“If administrators are to have the capacity to dismiss ineffective veteran teachers in reasonably efficient ways, research and common sense suggest that at least three conditions must be satisfied:”  https://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/(12.08) Undue Process - Why Bad Teachers in Twenty-Five Diverse Districts Rarely Get Fired.pdf

They pulled these three conditions out of their …hat. Notice the phrase “research and common sense suggest. Here is a tip for everyone-the phrase “research suggests” means research does not support a claim and you most likely are about to be told a lie that supports the writer’s agenda.  To use the phrase “research and common sense suggest” means they think we readers are too stupid to catch the lack facts and logic.

“our scores reveal a gap between policy and practice” They did not use actual dismissals as part of this tripe.

“In other words, our data reflect what is on paper, not the reality of teacher dismissal as it is understood and practiced by those on the ground” They are telling you that they did not study “the reality of teacher dismissals” because either:

1.They are too lazy to use standard research methods.

2.The truth did not match their agenda

3.They think we are too stupid to notice

4.All of the above

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

@AvgGeorgian Doesn't this make you wish the birdbrains, e.g. AvgGeorian, never heard the term "fake news?"  What the silly fools don't realize is that they've been fed fake news for years, only rejecting what they didn't like.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@MotocrossSurvivor @AvgGeorgian Doesn't this make you wish the birdbrains, e.g. MotorcorssSurvivor, never heard the term "reality?"  What the silly fools don't realize is that they've been fed real news for years, only rejecting what they didn't like.

Astropig
Astropig

@MotocrossSurvivor @AvgGeorgian



"Doesn't this make you wish the birdbrains never heard the term "Fake News"? 


Amen."Fake News" is now the favorite buzzword for for news that liberal wingnuts don't agree with or hurts their feelings.


I say good. Now the lefties can get a taste of what its like to not trust media in America circa 2016.


Kathy Thompson
Kathy Thompson

Its almost impossible to fire ALL / ANY State employee... does not matter what the job is...

Jessica Whitehead
Jessica Whitehead

As much as they threaten us with "student growth" they sure make it seem like itd be easy to fire us if we dont get those numbers. :/

Charmagne Quenan
Charmagne Quenan

After looking at the report, it would be likely that all metro systems are similar, because the report used a lot of state policies, rather than district (TKES requirements, for example).

Tom Green
Tom Green

You can be terminated after one year, and there is no appeal process. That seems pretty water-tight to me. As for the year, teachers are put under contract for a year. This is a contract that teachers can not terminate without possibly losing their licenses. So, that time period overwhelmingly benefits the school systems as it keeps teachers tied to the school system( a 2 week notice is not a teacher option).