Maryland Schools Look to Replace Teachers

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 16, 2008 1 min read
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According to a new Center on Education Policy analysis, Maryland schools entering the “restructuring” phase of school improvement under NCLB are increasingly choosing the option to replace teachers and staff.

In the past, most schools in restructuring appointed a “turnaround specialist” to improve the school. But the state has closed that option, and there’s little evidence of its success, the report says.

The report has already generated some lively commentary over at Eduwonkette (including “Skoolboy,” who calls replacing staff the “neutron bomb” theory of school reform.)

School leaders in Maryland have implemented this differently. Some have required all staff members to reapply for their jobs at the school; others have targeted only specific employees.

There are a lot of effects to parse out here. They include questions such as whether this intervention attracts more effective teachers to the schools; who makes the decisions about which teachers are let go and/or rehired; what happens to teachers who are not rehired (do they go to other schools in the district); and ultimately, whether it’s a more effective reform strategy than the other options for restructuring.

It’s too early to answer these questions in Maryland, according to the report, which goes on to indicate that in some of these schools, the restructuring caused a loss of morale and fears about job security. But, it says, those effects dissipated relatively quickly.

What’s it like in YOUR school?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.