Capital Editorial

Our Say: Arlotto should examine whether teacher morale is sinking, Capital, March 8, 2016.

This editorial comments on Huang, Cindy, Why are Anne Arundel’s teachers changing jobs? Capital, March 6, 2016.

Snider Comment

The odds of being struck and killed by lightning are probably greater than a teacher with between 15 and 28 years of experience leaving AACPS for a better job in an adjacent County’s school system.  The critical question that needs to be addressed is why the retention rate for teachers with that level of experience is so high.  I know of no private industry where the retention rate for similarly experienced employees is similarly high.

Of course, the retention rate for beginning teachers with less than five years of experience is a wholly different matter.  There the question of why it is so low is an appropriate question.  But even there most openings have more than 1,000 applicants.

It seems to me that arguably the greatest scandal with our Board of Education is why is so little effort devoted to merit-based candidate recruitment.  The answer may be that Board of Education members feel inundated with applicants. But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer.

I’d also like to know why, if Board of Education members think experience is so valuable, they so rarely hire highly experienced teachers for most types of openings.  This observation is especially noteworthy because of the more than 14,000 school districts in the U.S., AACPS wages are among the top ten percent for experienced teachers.