Are Younger Teachers Better?

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Very interesting point of view here. Let me give you the run down.

There's a county in Virginia--Chesterfield it's called. The school district is $52 million in the hole and that means 300 positions from the public schools--or 5 teachers per school--have to go. (This could be any school district in America soon.) Writer Jason Sterlace argues that "in government work, seniority and tenure mean a lot, so the newest teachers are the ones who will most likely be on the streets." True.


But what about this point? A letter to the Editor of the Chesterfield Observer suggests that the older teachers should be the ones to go. Here's the reasoning:

The Chesterfield County school system in its proposed reduction in force policy to meet budget restrictions is planning to lay off the newest teachers in the system. In my opinion it is these teachers who should be kept. I have found that the youngest, most recent college graduates are the most enthusiastic and bring with them the most current knowledge of educational practices and course content. It is not fair to our students to deprive them of good teachers and keep those who are not performing in a satisfactory manner.

Now, of course, that's a sweeping, blanket statement against veteran teachers--a group that should probably be given more credit than they are here. But the writer of this letter may be on to something. Younger teachers do have a certain enthusiasm that, generally speaking, more senior teachers seem to lose--not to mention the natural connection younger teachers often have with the kids. In a case like this one, where teacher lay-offs are imminent, merit should be the only standard--right? But when it comes to teachers, how exactly does one measure that?

Do you think younger teachers are better?

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