An Update on the Failure of Charter Schools
With the debate surrounding the state of education in the U.S. focusing on quality teachers, and with legislation “forcing” institutions to hire only highly-qualified teachers, it might have come as a surprise to find out that charter schools hire under-qualified, inexperienced teachers and fire experienced teachers – regardless of their efficiency level – in order to save money. I talk about this in my previous post “The Failure of Charter Schools” . I have since learned of an interesting practice that charter schools, private schools, and even some ISDs, are using in order to save money – hiring teachers to cover two roles.
This is not something unusual in some instances – science teachers are often hired to teach 7th (biology) and 8th (chemistry) grade science, language arts are hired to teach regular and AP courses, and English professors (with the appropriate certification) sometimes double up as ESL instructors. This practice I have no problem with, as the teacher in charge of the course knows the content and how to present it. Browsing this year’s teaching openings, however, will yield a troubling number of openings for sports coaches who are willing to teach core topics such as math, science, and language arts.
Let me give you a minute to digest that.
Schools are not looking for subject specialists who can coach a team (a somewhat acceptable situation under some circumstances) , they are looking for a coach, whose main area is sports, broadly speaking, and a specific sport in a more focused way, and asking them to teach content they might have forgotten.
While I concede that to some schools the sports programs are important, I don’t think they should be held in higher esteem than core programs. As long as we see school as a training ground where football players and cheerleaders are royalty and discount the value of true education – as these charter schools are doing – we will be stuck in a mediocre position when compared to the rest of the world.
Perhaps that’s something you should be concerned about.
And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t care, then just read my next post where I will write about Gamestop.
 Any situation where the sports teams are not directly related to the physical education class or to any league, where they are an effort of the school to get students to develop school spirit through after-school activities – in those cases a coach is not needed. If teams are a part of the physical education program and play in a larger league, then coaches are necessary.