TEA blames TUSD for low performance
Reporter: April Madison
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson Unified School District is making all the teachers at Palo Verde High School re-apply for their jobs. This is the second high forced to fire it's staff in two weeks. The first? Rincon High School. But the Tucson Education Association says it's the district who should be held accountable, not the teachers.
T-U-S-D tells KGUN 9 the move to make all teachers at Rincon and Palo Verde High Schools re-apply for their jobs, is based on low performance data from the last 5 years. But Luci Messing, with the Tucson Education Association says low performance is a district-wide problem, and the teachers shouldn't be punished. She told KGUN 9, "We did not have to go to this drastic model turn around, where we release all faculty and staff, the good and the not so good, or those that might need some assistance. It's sort of an unjustified way to reach a problem when there was an alternative of a transformation model."
So how will the district decide which teachers to rehire? KGUN 9 took that question to T-U-S-D Assistant Superintendent, Edith Macklin-Isquierdo. She told KGUN 9, "It's never a fool proof process, but we are going to put in place a multi-staff, rigorous and comprehensive type of interview process where applicants will have to do a 3 to 5 minute quick mini-lesson in front of a panel."
9 On Your Side's April Madison asked Macklin-Isquierdo, "Why not use that same tactic with the already existing teachers to see if they would be onboard first?" Macklin-Isquierdo's response? "What this model does is everybody re-applies. Every person that works at Rincon and Palo Verde will have to re-apply for their positions. If we had a 100-percent of teachers doing their job every single day, we wouldn't be at a 32-percent."
But Messing argues both schools have asked for support for years, and were already making changes before interim principals were hired. Messing said, "They came up with their own ideas of how to address low performance. They were already doing what needed to be done without a leader. But they weren't given any support. The district never came in did what they needed to do with that site, considering what they had been through with the turmoil with the past administration, so the district is at fault here."
Macklin-Isquierdo said she believes performance improvement should be apparent within a year, with a solid turn around in two years, under the new strategy.