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Five Questions to Ask: Teacher Workforce

  1. How does your district evaluate teacher performance and how do those evaluations affect their salaries and tenure possibilities? How are teachers who don’t teach subjects included in your states standardized tests evaluated?
  2. Does your district work with alternative teacher training programs such as Teach For America?

    If so, what schools are those teachers assigned to, how does their performance compare to teachers with traditional backgrounds, and how long do the teachers with alternative certification stay with the district?

  3. How many of the teachers in your district are graduates of the education departments of the colleges and universities in your region? How do principals and other administrators in your district regard the education departments of those universities? Are these university education departments changing their admission criteria or any other aspect of their programs?
  4. Though budget cuts due to the economic crisis have limited school districts ability to hire in recent years, teacher turnover does continue to be a persistent issue. What the average age of teachers in your district, how many are likely to retire in the next few years, and—on average– how many teachers does your district hire per year?
  5. How are the relationships between the school districts you cover and the teachers unions for your district? On which policies do they disagree/agree?