Why urban schools miss great teachers

Jul 8, 2011 by

Jay Mathews

I saw the D.C. schools headline in The Post, “600 instructors could be fired in July.” Here we go again, I said.

Summer is often a bad time for urban school districts, as officials fill teacher openings too late to get the best candidates. If the D.C. schools are waiting until July to see whether the new teacher evaluation system is going to cost 600 teachers their jobs for being “minimally effective,” that means their best possible replacements will already have been hired by other districts.


I learned this in 2003 through a report from the New Teacher Project, “Missed Opportunities: How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms .”

The report, written by Jessica Levin and Meredith Quinn, said: “High-quality teacher candidates regularly apply in large numbers to teach in hard-to-staff districts. The problem is, they do not get hired. The failure of many large urban districts to make job offers to new teachers until July or August is largely to blame for this problem.”

via Why urban schools miss great teachers – Class Struggle – The Washington Post.

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