Bumping Human Resources: Giving Principals More Say Over Staffing
Through an analysis of its extensive teacher-union contract database, this National Council on Teacher Quality policy brief explains that, when it comes to school staffing, districts sharply limit the authority of principals. Multiple contractual and bureaucratic obstacles get in the way of HR moves by school principals. Perhaps most problematic is the practice of giving senior teachers “bumping rights”—forcing principals to fill empty slots with teachers they may not want. All is not lost, however. The brief also suggests solutions and points to a few districts that are putting them into practice: For example, end forced placements of teachers, as in New York City, and make better use of teacher evaluations, as in D.C.’s new teacher contract, which links final-year evaluations to firing practices. In and of themselves, these solutions won’t revolutionize entrenched district HR practices; but they offer tangible mechanisms for how school leaders can gain some control over staffing.
National Council on Teacher Quality, “Bumping HR: Giving Principals More Say Over Staffing,” (Washington, D.C.: National Council on Teacher Quality, October 2010).
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