“You’re fired!” For many New Yorkers, the chance to say those words to our next President can’t come soon enough. But barring an impeachment miracle, they'll have to wait several years for that chance.
So what say you, reader? Do you need four or eight more years to form an opinion about Trump—pro or con? How long does it really take to know if someone isn’t the right fit for a job?
Obviously, the President is a special case. Still, the question stands, and the answer matters, especially when it comes to another key role in our democracy: the public school teacher. Like the President’s performance, a teacher’s performance has grave consequences—not just for kids’ academic achievement but for their long-term prospects.
Unfortunately, as we document in a recent analysis, Undue Process: Why Bad Teachers in Twenty-Five Diverse Districts Rarely Get Fired, in most places, dismissing an ineffective teacher remains far too hard. And in New York City and state, it’s particularly challenging.
Because data on teacher dismissals are nearly impossible to come by, our report focuses on the dismissal process as it exists on paper—that is, as articulated in state and district policy. Specifically, we evaluated districts based...