Jun 24, 2012

ARTICLE: Autonomous

High School... To Be Run By Teachers, Union 

"New Haven's turning one of its low-performing schools over to its teachers and the teachers' union in an experiment that shatters traditional definitions of American school reform... All 31 teachers at the school had to reapply for their jobs. On Wednesday, some 21 teachers won the right to stay; the rest were guaranteed jobs elsewhere within the district."

Some teachers did not reapply for several reasons. One teacher did not believe that he should have to "beg" for his job.

A comment from 10YearTeacher: The re-applying for their jobs is not a bad thing in my eyes. It was meant to weed out those that were not "on board" and had believed in the mission. I'm glad those teachers that did not re-apply or didn't make the cut got jobs elsewhere in the district. They are good teachers I am sure, just not the right fit for that school. 

The teachers have plans for new ideas, including an interesting promotion plan. The students will not simply promote from freshman to sophomore at the end of the year. They will earn their way from stage to stage.

"At the end of each stage, students will compile 'portfolios' of their work. When those portfolios are deemed indicative of mastering their level of education, the students will then move to the next stage. They may be in high school three years, or six years, instead of the usual four. They'll graduate when they're ready."

The hope this school is revisited in the future--I'm curious about this model. It's similar to Finland's schools--they are autonomous with a Head Teacher acting as principal. 


  1. I would love to know results in at least 1, 5, &10 years down the road. There are so many variables that could affect outcomes.

  2. Absolutely. Heck, it took Finland about 40 years to reach its present level of success. As long as the teachers are truly allowed to run the show, I think job satisfaction is going to climb drastically, and those teachers will push themselves and their students to success--otherwise, they'll be forced to change again.

  3. If success doesn't come son enough, THEY will declare the model a failure. I'm an optimist(as you know ;) but I'd be surprised if the teachers are given more than a few years.