This is a geographically-dependent question, so I'll answer for my state. Here, in New York, teachers go through strident measures before entering the classroom. They have background checks, fingerprinting, and are held to extremely high standards. Even after employment, teachers are subject to very harsh expectations, such as, for example, the No Child Left Behind standards.
Although you may hear, occasionally, of schools which hire under-qualified teachers, this is far from the norm. The majority of schools appear to hire based on serious qualifications, and place their new teachers in entry level positions, where they can properly evaluate them, before elevating them to a higher level of responsibility.
In my area of the country, there is a higher supply than there is demand for teachers, so the schools are able to pick and choose the best of the best. This leaves the others to usually become substitute teachers, until they have more qualifications to get a position. Teachers are also subject to interviews by other teachers in the school, to ensure they will fit in with the school.
Teachers are run through a battery of tests and evaluations both before and after they are hired. Teachers must demonstrate content knowledge even before they are hired showing their ability in their content areas. After being hired teachers undergo yearly evaluations that ensure they are competent in their jobs. In addition to this, they must have a full background check before being hired. When you combine all of these evaluations it is obvious that schools do take the necessary measures to hire quality staff.
Numerous charter schools are closing and/or admins are being fired due to huge mismanagement issues. Lack of oversight is the main cause of such problems. Who always hurts in the end? Kids.
Schools do evaluate and measure the credentials before recruiting staff. Every school has its own quality standard and maintains it. Quality staff only reflects in the quality of a school. So if a school is reputed one in the market, it is because of its quality teachers. Certain schools have a full fledged multi-layered recruitment process and stringent conditions to recruit the best.
Most schools do the best they can to hire high-quality teachers and staff. In cases where teachers' unions protect the tenure of teachers, this sometimes undermines schools' best efforts to eliminate staff members and teachers who have proven ineffective in their jobs. What could do more to attract higher quality teachers to the profession is to respect the job as a profession with higher salaries and societal respect.
Teachers are put through many measures to ensure they are adequately trained and up-to-date. This includes necessary education, teachers' conferences, professional days, probation periods, constant evaluations, and teaching different grades, among other things.
Support staff have to have criminal record checks, reference checks, relevant experience, and evaluations in order to obtain work in schools. Support staff are also often hired on an hourly basis or a contract basis, so it is easier to terminate this staff than regular teachers.
I think that schools need to bring in outsiders, as well as parents, for review of staff and administration. In our school district, administrators are often juggled around from school to school, if they are doing an ineffective job. People with a lot of teaching experience are forced to retire, and new hires are fresh out of college. There are a lot of things that could be changed in the review process, in my school district, including firing teachers and administrators, rather than just sending them from school to school, thinking they will do a better job.
While the screening process for educators is rather extensive, schools fail to maintain this level of evaluation after the teachers are hired. A teacher must be hired at face value on credentials or experience. You would think, as the educator gains experience in the school district he or she is hired in, credibility and capability would continue to have to be proved. However, once the initial hiring process is over, it's almost as if accountability goes out the window.
The number of teachers engaging in sexual relationships with students has been steadily increasing, which suggests that the schools are not taking necessary measures to evaluate and ensure quality of their staff. If schools measured and evaluated staff more efficiently, then they would be able to weed out the sex offenders before hiring them.
The schools nowadays just go for the teachers who have a college education and, in some areas, you don't even need to have a full teaching degree to be a substitute teacher. I understand that the economy is bad, school levies do not pass, and there is a need for paying teachers less of a salary due to these items. Instead of people putting their resources into the future of their children, we pay $50.00 to go to a basketball game to watch someone who doesn't have a college education throw a ball through a net. But we don't put money into our school system. This has caused public schools to be lazy about the qualifications they require on teachers who are responsible for our children.
at least at my school. I've got teachers that kids have to teach themselves and they are in 8th grade. This is because the teacher's methods are just horrible. One I know of just sits infront of a desk and uses the over-head. The class gets boring fast and kids fall asleep. She is older and has a mono-toned voice. Yet she happens to be head of the Math department and I can't remember the last time I've heard of an entire class passing with A's
The high school drop-out rate in many U.S. schools is over 50%. Our students are unable to compete with students from many other countries. This is evidence that they are not receiving an adequate education. This is the fault of any combination of either students, parents, teachers, school administrators, boards of education, or the politicians making funding decisions for the schools. Students are the least likely culprits, because by the time they reach high school age, their attitudes have been molded by their parents and teachers. Teachers are in the line of fire when assigning blame, and rightly so, since they have the day-to-day control over the quality of learning available to students. Politicians can make or break a school district by providing or withholding funds. The school administrators and the boards of education have a power dance that sets the policies for how teachers are hired, evaluated, and rewarded or disciplined for excellent or poor performance by their students. In schools with successful student populations, it seems that the school administrators have taken control of teacher hiring and evaluation. Whereas weak school administrators seem to ignore sub-standard teaching.
It is imperative that any person who is going to be teaching or supervising our children should be thoroughly investigated. There is no position more important than educating the up and coming generation and all who have access to children should be checked to make certain they are competent and not a threat to children. Children often can't or are afraid to speak up for themselves and depend upon their parents, guardians and those in charge of educating them to keep them safe. It is of the utmost importance that we have only the best people people, who have thoroughly investigated, educate and keep our children safe.
I had too many teachers during my years in school that had lost almost all interest in their work. They are not to blame, however. Teachers are possibly the most under-paid workers in America so it's hard to blame them for losing interest in their jobs. However, it is the students who feel the effects of suck behavior. Thus, the schools should make annual evaluations of teachers, accessing their attitudes specifically. Pay scales should also be re-evaluated to maintain motivation in the same way every other large company operates.
I work in higher education, and while I think that tenure is a great thing for a professor to lean on, I also think if leads to a decline in output and effort after the desired level of promotion has been attained. While some part of this might be the Peter Principle, the idea that everyone rises to a level of incompetence eventually, I think the tenure system is largely to blame. I'm sure this becomes relevant in other levels of education as well -- job security eventually leads to a reduction in productivity, rather than encouraging educators to continually better themselves. I think elimination of the tenure system (and its equivalent in primary education) would lead to more consistent performance in both less experienced and more experienced educators.
I am from Tennessee, and we recently had a teacher shoot two other staff members. How many teachers do we see making national headlines for having sex
with students? Coaches soliciting students, spy cams in children's homes: before my daughter (who is now two) was even born, my mind was made up to school her from home! Poor education, violence from other students, drugs and yes, teachers who should not be any where near our kids!