Teacher application surge: Contract or coincidence
We ran a story earlier this week about Baltimore city's applicant pool for teaching positions nearly doubling what it was last year in the months after the BTU introduced a radical new contract that positioned the city as a national fixture for education reform. It's no surprise that city school officials attribute the surge in the latter part of last year to the contract, but experts say that the economy and unemployment rates should give leaders pause before they begin touting a pact that still has yet to be fully recognized by even those who work under it.
The expert source in our story, Emily Cohen, who knows all things teacher quality and contracts, also said that teachers are usually attracted more to a leader of a district than a contract--which means that the surge could be a result of schools CEO Andres Alonso's increasing national profile.
I checked in with Baltimore County too just to get a sense if the trend was being experienced in other places, and the county's human resources director said they currently "had more applications than we know what to do with," and have even had to cut back on their recruitment efforts. Granted, sources say this is not be unusual for the county, a popular destination for teachers who can't quite stomach the city's challenges, but still desire the diversity and proximity to an urban population.
Our editorial board weighed in today on the city's application surge, and whether they believe the contract has become a magnet for talent.
We should know by the end of the summer when all applications and hires are completed for the next school year, whether the uptick reflects a true trend--particularly as more of the contract's nitty-gritty details are due to be divulged in the coming months.
I'd love for our education community to weigh in on the application surge: Contract or coincidence?