ED, teachers quit b/c bad conditions; implications for Proviso
But complaining about low salaries and bad teachers is a lot easier than focusing on the seemingly intractable problem of dysfunctional communities creating dysfunctional schools. So that's what we do.
In Drum's entry he quotes LA Times (Howard Blume):
....At high-minority and high-poverty schools, teacher turnover typically runs at 10% annually. "If this churning is going on, you can be sure you have a dysfunctional school," Futernick said. "As long as we think of these schools as combat zones, we'll never solve the retention problem and we'll never close the achievement gap" between white and Asian students and their black and Latino peers.
More from the same article:
The real issue is working conditions, which are the flip side of a student's learning conditions, said Ken Futernick, who directs K-12 studies at the Center for Teacher Quality at Cal State Sacramento.
Classroom interruptions, student discipline, increasing demands, insufficient supplies, overcrowding, unnecessary meetings, lack of support — all play a role in burning out teachers.
Drum complains about the methodology of the research, but the conclusion sounds plausible.
Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I sorta feel the problem districts in Proviso have the problems described in this study plus an intrusive amount of politics. Some teachers are largely left alone, but some clearly feel the politics is a negative. Isis (It's Just Teaching) has some recent specific gripes.
So what's Proviso to do?
The problems need to be addressed in a holistic way, but we need to be cognizant of the legacy of racism (and current racism). Racism pervades everyone's thinking. Racism plays a role in everyone--voters, political bosses, administrators, teachers, parents, the media, law enforcement and everyone else--accepting things that would be unacceptable if Proviso schools served at 75% "White" population*.
We need to do a better job of preparing people to be parents. We need to do a better job of supporting parents. We need schools that are optimized around students. We need to de-politicize schools as part of administrators creating a conducive-to-education environment for teachers.
Anyway, feel free to add your two cents. Try to focus your criticisms on problems not people. Even of the worst bad actor on the local level died in a vehicle collision today, tomorrow Proviso schools would still have 98+% of the problems they have today.
* According the (2000 Census the United States was 75.1% "White", 12.5% "Hispanic", 12.3% Black, 3.6% Asian & 2.4% "multiracial". By contrasts Proviso Township was 42.7% "White", 36.3% Black, 17.3% "Hispanic", 2.3% Asian & 1.1% "multiracial". And the schools have significantly higher percentages of Blacks and Latinos.