Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Shallow Pool

When the pool gets shallow, you are going to end up with some of the sludge.

This is my analogy for the AP report on sexual misconduct plaguing schools. It is the unfortunate consequence of not having enough applicants for all the job openings in our schools. When the talent pool gets shallow, school districts end up hiring whoever is available. When HR spends the bulk of their time running around filling jobs at the last minute, the wrong people are going to slip through and get into a classroom.

It is going to get worse and that is an outrage. I was presenting at AASPA and met with numerous district HR people. Some are hiring from overseas and end up being immigration lawyers, housing specialists and cultural integrators – which sucks up so much time that they cannot do the rest of their jobs and the teachers don't work out and leave anyway. Others are venturing far from their state to recruit – costing time and money. For math and science teachers they are lucky to have one qualified applicant for the job and when you only have one applicant you don’t have a choice. They are desperately seeking ways to fill jobs and taking what they can get. Is that what our students deserve – or do they deserve a teacher selected from many great applicants.

Being desperate creates a perfect situation for some of the people listed in the AP article. We have got to fill the talent pool so that our districts do not end up getting the sludge from the bottom.

No comments: