Some parents in Arizona have one more thing to add to their shopping list—teachers. Moms and dads at Desert Sage Elementary in Glendale can “teacher shop”—that is, come in on set-aside days to observe their child’s possible teachers for the next year. Principal Randy Coen says the process is helpful to parents, but knows it can also be strenuous for teachers. “They’re (the parents) trying to be good consumers and do their research,” Coen says. “I don’t disagree with that. It’s just the teachers’ up there feeling like they have to put on a show.” Other schools in the area only allow parents to provide general suggestions regarding the type of teacher they want for their child—although many parents subtly push for specific instructors, anyway. Beth Kroeger, a parent and former teacher in Mesa, notes that the best way for parents to have a say in teacher selection is to frequently volunteer at the school—or get on the school board. “There’s a political process that goes on that’s underlying,” she says. “It’s not spoken, but it’s absolute.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.