Wednesday, February 18, 2009

About that teaching backup plan ...

Disappointing but unsurprising news for those contemplating a Plan B in the classroom.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' annual job fair, to be held April 18, has been canceled because of job cuts the system is confronting this year.

In a report to the school board this week, Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh cited "unfamiliar challenges" facing the system. Those challenges are twofold, Hattabaugh told me Tuesday: short-term student growth is projected to be minimal, negating the need for more teachers, and the system must shed significant jobs. Last week, Superintendent Peter Gorman told the board that 1,200 CMS jobs - a third of them teaching positions - might have to be cut.

The cuts will create a glut of teaching applicants in the area. Already, CMS has a significant reserve; the job fair drew more than 4,000 last year, the largest turnout ever, and the economic downturn seems to have prompted an increase in job seekers. "Anytime we have an opening at a school, we see a large number of applicants," Hattabaugh said.

That interest includes the Lateral Entry Program, which helps skilled individuals outside the school system become teachers.

Hattabaugh said the system will continue to cultivate relationships with local colleges and universities, often a supplier of young teachers, and he said CMS is always on the lookout for potential Lateral Entry participants. The areas most in need include math, sciences, and languages.

But for now, there are few jobs even for the most-qualified professionals.

"It's not a local issue," Hattabaugh said. "It's a national issue. School districts all over the country are facing these same things."

Your Morning Edge:

Few countries are being spared by the economic crisis, the Washington Post reports.

Small business are staying alive by bartering their services with other businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Deal of the Day, from MomsCharlotte Deal Diva Tara McAlister, is a $1 special from, which allows you to check state court records and criminal data ranging from traffic violations to felonies. Special runs Saturday and Sunday. Snoop away!


Anonymous said...

Every day, there is another reason I don't look back for having left the profession. For months, I felt trememdous guilt and that I had failed, when it appears that there is very little way to succeed in this field any more. I believe even the current stimulus plan mentions cuts in the teacher workforce and an increase in class size. A class of 32 (my first class size) 10-year-olds is - surprisingly - much more difficult to control, monitor, teach and mentor than a class of 18. Sad news, indeed.
We won't talk about the ridiculous pay for 10 of the 12 months of the year.

Anonymous said...

Peter, we have an abiding mystery on our hands. CMS -- after years of underbuilding schools and under-projecting enrollment -- now has overprojected for two years and foresees flat enrollment in the years ahead. Perhaps this is a happy coincidence as the county cannot afford to take on any more debt to build schools. But still, let's take this claim at face value.

Then go talk to Wachovia's Mark Vitner and he'll tell you that the metro Charlotte area's employment rate -- currently a couple points above the national avg. and headed to 12% according to Vitner and others -- is being magnified by job seekers who continue to move to CLT in search of work.

Which is it? I suppose there could be a bunch of childless, unemployed workers moving in, which would be interesting in itself. Or it could indicate that CMS has no real handle on enrollment numbers and/or was inflating them all along.


Anonymous said...

I remember as a child larger than avg class sizes in the school I was enrolled. And the students were quiet, respectful and we all learned.... the difference is that parents were involved in the kids' lives and we got disaplined as needed with a belt (parents), a paddle (teacher), a round of standing in the corner or sometimes it would only take a stern glance! Today's kids are too coddled and do not have parents who care enough (not saying all, but a few bad apples spoil the bunch). That's the real problem. A decent teacher could easily handle a class size of 30-40 students if those students had parents who cared and taught them to care and be respectful. This might sound as if I am really old, I am not, I am only 30 (graduated HS in 1996) so this wasn't too long ago.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the way the districts are drawn up. Students at Olympic and South Meck are in trailers, however Waddell is about 900 students under capacity. This situation is happening all over town. Some students should be bussed to undercrowded schools to balance out the enrollment zones.

Anonymous said...

To the writer who claimed that corporal punishment is effective, research has demonstrated that having Herman Goering in drag as the teacher causes many more problems than it solves. Anyway, beating a child does not suggest good Christian decency.

Anonymous said...

Really? Christian teaching emphasizes use of "the rod."

Anonymous said...

What the schools - ALL - not just CMS need to do is eliminate the executive position in favor of teachers - they should be the ones we hold on to for the longest. Furthermore - as anonymous said - the biggest problem we have is parents who either don't care and those who coddle their kids and give them this inflated sense of entitlement - and those who cannot and will not behave. Not to say kids need to get beaten, but if they can't behave - get them the hell out so the ones who are interested in learning can. What happened to juvey halls? And for that matter - the idea of getting rid of "sexual deviants" while doing nothing about the criminal students is LUDICROUS!!

jpt said...

Herman Goering in drag...

What are you talking about? Put the pipe down and go back to school.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly believe there is quite a difference in spanking and beating and I don't believe beating is good. However a little wack on the behind, can be successful- properly used.

And what does this all have to do with Christians? Being a good student or a good teacher is not religion based.

Plus I don't understand what does someone in drag have to do with this?

Either way- you must be one of "those" people. You know, the coddlers...

Anonymous said...

this isn't only happening to CMS it's all over NC. I teach in another school district and we are having to purchase our own paper to copy materials, we lost two positions at my high school last year and are about to lose two more. My average high school class has 29 students.
I don't understand where all the money is going? Our school system says we aren't meeting enrollment when our class sizes are getting bigger.
I also agree with some of the earlier comments: I wish students were more respectful, but then again what do we expect when MTV raised them?
I love most of my students but even a good class of 25 can be ruined by ONE rude out of control student.
What I'm really afraid of is that we're not preparing these students for the real world because we don't have the simple tools to teach them. Not to mention the time or energy to teach them how to behave as well as the content the state tests us on.

Anonymous said...

If teaching is a backup plan, you shouldn't be a teacher!!!