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Recruitment and Dismissal“The ins and the outs”
The Employment Interview• Use a panel to conduct.• Resist judgement until the interview is over.• Allot time inbetween interviews to complete an evaluation of eachcandidate.• Use a competency based scoring system.• Train panel to avoid racial and other bias.• Assessment of candidates based on factual evidence of past performance,behavior, and achievements.• Questions should lead candidates to tell more.• A record should be maintained regarding why each candidate was or wasnot recommended.• Conduct a thorough reference check for all applicants under seriousconsideration.• A background check should be initiated to ensure students are notexposed to undesirable personnel.
Employment Applications• Should not request info on: race, age, birthdate, birth place, national origin, maritalstatus, number of children, gender, height,weight, home ownership, religious affiliation,type of military discharge, photography.
Hiring Discrimination• School districts that develop a well-definedand focused process that is legally defensibletend to have a greater opportunity to attractand retain quality personnel while minimizinglegal challenges. Legal challenges do ariseduring the employment process.
Summary• A district that projects a professional image andhas well-defined processes to support its missionis generally more appealing to prospectivecandidates.• It is important to conduct a well-organized andlegally defensible interview process.• Efforts should be made to recruit and retain themost diversified pool of qualified candidates thedistrict can afford to compensate.
Dismissal for Cause• Dismissing a teacher for cause is a seriousmatter, since the teacher has an inherentproperty right to hold the employmentposition. State statutes prescribe permissiblegrounds on which dismissal is based. Theburden of proof resides with the board ofeducation to show cause based on apreponderance of evidence.
Insubordination• “the willful failure or inability to obey areasonable and valid administrative directive.”• Documented evidence of the allegedmisconduct with further evidence that theadministrative order or directive was valid.
Neglect of Duty• “a teacher fails to execute assigned duties.”• Intentional or unintentional based onineffective performance.• Not measured against a standard of perfectionbut against the standard required of otehrsperforming the same or similar duties.
Immortality• “conduct that violates the ethics of a particularcommunity.”• Any act or behavior that substantially interfereswith the education of children and has a directimpact on the teacher’s fitness to teach.• Determination of whether the teacher’s allegedconduct adversely affects teaching performanceand effectiveness.• Immortality is not considered unconstitutionallyvague in most jurisdictions.
Examples of Teacher morality• Dishonesty• Pregnant and unmarried• Unmarried teachers of the opposite sex livingtogether• Homosexuality• Adulterous conduct• Sex change operations• Sexual advances toward students• Related behaviors to the above
Incompetency• “inefficiency, a lack of skill, inadequate knowledge ofsubject matter, inability or unvillingness to teach thecurricula, failure to work effectively with colleaguesand parents, failure to maintain discipline,mismanagement of the classroom, and attitudinaldeficiencies.”• Characterized by the courts as a lack of knowledge,skill, intelligence, and, in some instances,professionalism.• Requires a systematic and continuous evaluationprocess with feedback designed to assist the teacher inimproving performance.
Mortality• Questions involving teacher morality often involvepersonal behavior and lifestyle issues, as communitieshave developed expectations that teachers serve aspositive role models for their students, particularly insuch areas as dress, grooming, and moral and socialbehavior.• Eight states currently prohibit discrimination on thebasis of sexual orientation: California, Connecticut,Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey,Vermont, and Washington recognize the rights ofindividuals to determine their particular lifestyles.
Criminal Activity• Charges usually result in dismissal, based ongeneral unfitness, immorality, andunprofessional conduct.• Revocation of the teaching certificate also maybe appropriate, especially in cases where aconviction occurs.• The standard of proof is higher to sustain aconviction than it is to dismiss a teacher.
Financial Exigency• The district faces a bona fide reduction in itsbudget that results in abolishing certainemployment positions.• Reduction in student enrollment.• Demonstrate:• 1. A bona fide financial crisis exists.• 2. A rational relationship between the benefitsderived from dismissal and the alleviation of thefinancial crisis exists.• 3. A fair and uniform set of due process proceduresis followed in dismissal decisions.
Good or Just Cause• Designed to provide the district broaderlatitude in dismissing teachers for causes notspecifically identified in state statutes.