MNPS accelerates timeline for hiring new teachers

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 11:48pm

Metro Nashville Public Schools is moving its annual process for hiring new teachers sooner in the calendar year, aiming to contract 250 new teachers this March and April instead of waiting until the summer.

Director of Schools Jesse Register first announced plans for the accelerated teacher hiring process at last week’s “State of Metro Schools” address as part of the district’s plan, dubbed ASSET, to recruit and retain high-performing teachers. In a related proposal, Register has pitched increasing the starting salaries of teachers in next year’s budget.

Metro school officials outlined the revamped hiring timeline to school board members at Tuesday’s board meeting, billing the approach as a way to compete against other Middle Tennessee counties for top-tier teachers. The district hires between 400 and 500 new teachers annually, but has historically waited until June to do so.

“By then the neighboring counties had already been offering contracts for a couple of months, so we’re really pleased to be able to move it up earlier,” June Keel, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, said. “The pool will be larger for us to select from.”

The district has organized an invitation-only recruitment fair at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on April 21 for teachers who the district has actively recruited.

By accelerating the hiring process, Keel acknowledged Metro might be moving to the period in which neighboring school districts have already been hiring. Nonetheless, board members applauded the move.

“Everybody knew it need to be done, but it’s hard to make that change,” board member Mark North said.

The school board took the following actions Tuesday night:

• The school board voted to certify charges against former McGavock High School teacher Donald Brian Wood, who in 2010 unleashed a profanity-laced tirade, while throwing tables and chairs in front of his students, after an apparent nervous breakdown. The episode went viral, creating a national stir on YouTube.

Wood has the right to appeal the charges before a state administrative judge. If he were not to appeal, the charges would lead to his official dismissal from MNPS. Wood has not taught in Metro during the 18 months since the incident.

• The school board agreed to hand the naming rights of McGavock High School’s Academy of Digital Design of Communication to Country Music Television. Under the three-year contract, CMT will pay $100,000 in in-kind contributions during year one, and $50,000 for each of the two following years.

CMT is the fifth corporation to purchase naming rights at Metro high schools, as part of The Academies of Nashville, a high school model that uses career themes to help guide classroom instruction. The approach relies on partnerships from outside companies.

• The school board approved removing the title “comprehensive” from Metro’s 12 zoned high schools. Officials said the 1970s-era label is no longer appropriate given the new focus on career academies and the variation in student populations at Metro’s high schools.

6 Comments on this post:

By: asdfgh on 3/14/12 at 5:19

Good move MNPS. Go ahead and bribe new, inexperienced teachers to teach here. Start recruiting now, because you are driving away every experienced teacher in you already employ. I am a Metro teacher, and every young teacher I know is interviewing to be hired elsewhere. Every teacher who CAN retire, IS retiring. MNPS is a HORRIBLE place to work.
You better get busy now, MNPS, because you are requiring teachers to start the 12/13 school year in July, and you need to replace hordes of teachers. A bribe of $40,000 to put up with your nonsense is a good start. Now if only you would actually give the teachers who continue to teach through your interference and adversity a raise. Experienced teachers haven't seen a penny other than the 0.75% raise in 6 years. Experienced EL teachers paid for their own training and accreditation. New ones get the training for free, and are paid a bonus. I am still paying back my loan.
All for the inexperienced, and NOTHING for the experienced. That will really help you keep your best teachers! (Sarcasm font necessary)

By: djarrell on 3/14/12 at 6:15

Performance Pay.
Performance Pay.
Pay the good teachers more.
This plan isn't it.
There is NOTHING to keep highly qualified, top tier "LEVEL 5" experienced teachers in MNPS. Many of these teachers have not had a raise from MNPS in 5 years. Teachers have become disposable instead of valued employees. No matter what the starting salary bribe to get the latest and greatest teachers, they will soon find out.

My school was held through the hail storm a couple weeks ago. My faculty sustained several hundred thousand dollars of damage to their vehicles. This decision by MNPS has dealt employees another financial hardship.

By: edsupp on 3/14/12 at 7:03

djarrell - Just say top tier teachers instead of "Level 5" teachers. The different numerical values in the new state evaluation system are a joke. It all depends on whom is doing the evaluation and what kind of day he or she is having. For example, I teach my rear end off each day and I get a "2" because my observer is a new assistant principal trying to make a name for himself/herself or a rarely get out from behind my desk and just give busy work yet I receive a "5" because my observer is looking for a way to say that all of my teachers are terrific! Joke joke joke. Everything else that you stated I agree with. Thank you for your service to our children. Keep up the good work.

By: pswindle on 3/14/12 at 8:30

The Legislative Branch of Government and Dr. Register have killed the teaching profession in the state of TN. Hopefully, TN will wake up before it is too late to save our state from the lost of all of our rights.

By: djarrell on 3/15/12 at 1:21

Dear edsupp:

Thanks for the clarification. I was referring to the TVASS rating and should have stated that.

FE FI FO Fum - I smell a tax hike is to come.

By: thinking12 on 3/22/12 at 5:45

No tax hike!!!
Can we please some results first Mr. Register-any out there that you can point to-specifically ?

If a person goes to college majoring in education they probably already know when they graduate this is not the highest income career-They must be wanting to do this for other reasons.
We need to support these other reasons and the people who bring them-there by setting the best example for the students(maybe even inspiring them)!

Throwing money at this is not going to fix it-and if you think it is then I question your education.
Experienced teachers are a gold mine you need to work with.