In recent years, some voices like the New Teacher Project have called for changing how teachers are hired by school districts, and have even worked with some districts to revamp their hiring practices and to improve teacher retention.
Now, a new report from the Annenberg Institute of School Reform at Brown University is touting another approach: it says districts ought to consolidate all teacher-related functions, like recruitment, evaluation, professional development, staffing, and even collective bargaining, under a single “human- capital management” office. The hope is that this would ensure better coordination of the teacher-related functions and transform the way districts recruit, hire, train, evaluate, and pay teachers.
The report says that when anything to do with teachers or teacher quality arises, people look to the human-resources department. But some functions, including collective bargaining and professional development, could fall outside the purview of human resources. And the authors argue that if, for instance, the human-resources office is doing a great job hiring teachers but the professional-development office is not doing as great a job training them, it could have negative effects on the entire district.
It’s a provocative thought. But are there any takers out there?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.