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Recruitment Incentives for (semi)-experienced Math, Science, SpecEd Teachers (New York City)

April 19, 2006 am30 9:36 am

There is an article here in today’s New York Times with some descriptions. There’s a bunch of issues worth exploring.First, the details. You need two years experience. There is $5000 in up-front money, followed by a $400 monthly housing subsidy over two years. In return the recruits agree to work three years in a high needs middle or high school. They expect to recruit about 100 teachers with this.

1. Recruitment, not Retention. This is a recruitment incentive, not a retention incentive (to the same degree that joining the Teaching Fellows gives you a 2 (or is it 3?) year commitment. These teachers will be agreeing to 3 years up front.

2. Retention not addressed, needs to be. NYCBoE still hasn’t addressed retention, and personal knowledge, anecdotes, etc, say that while recruitment and retention are both problematic, retention is the far bigger problem. A few months ago City Sue over at EdWize, said:

What had been a recruitment problem in the school system before the current contract is now a retention crisis. If you have five years in the system almost half the colleagues you started with have already left. More than a third left by the end of their second year.*

She was right.

3. This is not the first targeted recruitment. Targeted recruitment incentives have been around before (the Teaching Fellows recruit to specific subject areas, there have been loan forgivenesses aimed at math science and foreign language, etc).

4. Separate pay scales for different subjects would be harmful to our union. Iit makes me nervous when math teachers (I am a math teacher) are given access to cash that others are not. What strength we have, or at least potentially have, as a union, would be undermined if we started with separate pay scales by level, by title, etc. We need to be careful that incentives are just that, incentives, and are not allowed to grow into permanently differentiated pay scales. However, this agreement is clearly just incentives.

5. Communication. I want to learn stuff like this from my union, the UFT, not from a lousy newspaper. Perhaps it was not possible to include this in the weekly e-mail updates while it was being negotiated. That makes sense. Perhaps it was in a President’s report at a Delegate Assembly (I am often late). But certainly when the agreement was done, the info should have gone out, and quickly. I receive regular e-updates from the communications department, including over this school break. We should have received one about this.

I should write more about retention. Another day.

Finally, while I am up to Post #2, I may also be near the end of my blogspot days. Watch this space (possibly) for directions to an alternate space, soon. (moved to wordpress!)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2006 pm30 4:12 pm 4:12 pm

    I think you’re right on target, Jonathan. I too am disappointed to hear about this after the fact from third-party sources.

    City Sue was right about retention, but actions speak louder than words.

    I won’t belabor the comparison.

  2. April 22, 2006 pm30 8:52 pm 8:52 pm

    Jonathan;

    Welcomed comments about retention. I agree with NYC educator about the UFT talking a good game but not acting on them.

    I would put you on my list except I keep getting my blogroll kicked off my blog and I don’t know why. Hopefully somebody has an answer to why.

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