This summer I joined the "High Quality Teaching" sub-group in the school district redesign planning sessions. Now that the district consolidation is underway, I've stuck with that group as much as I can, working on the teacher qualifications we will use to hire all of the district's teachers.
Based on the recent superintendent debacle, here is my biggest concern going forward:
The unified school board has three members from the old boards and will have both superintendents from the old districts. I fear that old loyalties will hamper a rigorous hiring process. I suspect that we will see a goodly number of teachers hired because they've been around for years, they're known, maybe they're even comfortable to work with. While I do believe loyalty and history matter, they could lead us to hire back teachers who are not prepared or willing to teach according to the values of the district. Teachers on our subgroup tell me that many of the things we are asking for will be scary and new, particularly for veteran teachers. I've decided that we do them a disservice to hire them back into an environmnet where they don't fit. I'm okay with supporting those who are willing to try, but they need a defined period to prove progress or they need to be moved out. If we can't do that, we will get our teachers but lose the vision.