May 11, 2010 7:46 PM by David Ortiviz
A big shake-up going on in Pueblo City Schools. Dozens of teachers and other staff are being transferred, because their schools aren't making the grade. The upside is millions of new dollars from the No Child Left Behind program.
More than 40 teachers and nearly 20 staff members will move from one school to another in August. A drastic re-organization to improve six low performing schools in Pueblo: Central High School, Freed Middle School, Pitts Middle School, Risley Middle School, Roncalli Middle School and the Youth and Family Academy.
"It's pretty aggressive work that has to happen," said Tammy Clementi-Watson, with Pueblo City Schools. The school district got a grant to improve student achievement at the schools within three years. Their first step is to shuffle teachers and staff. "I understand the controversy, well if you move them to another school does that mean that that school is going to have the impact of lack of instruction if you will--not at all, not if we have leaders in place who can identify what those weaknesses are and get those supports in place for those teachers there," said Clementi-Watson.
But some feel they're being labeled as "bad" teachers. "A number of teachers are pretty upset about it," said Carole Partin, who runs the teacher's union, the Pueblo Education Association. "A lot of these teachers have good evaluations, they're good teachers," said Partin. "They're feeling like I'm being kind of a sacrificial lamb for this new program that's coming in," she added.
Partin is concerned with the way schools are being restructured. After teachers and staff are re-arranged, principals will be reassigned. "It seems to me like what you would do first is start with your leaders," said Partin. "and then look at your staff you need to go into that."
Partin also believes the key to fixing schools is improving the curriculum--not transferring teachers.
If student achievement doesn't improve at the schools within a year, the school district could lose funding, up to $16 million, to improve the schools.
-A total of 42 teachers will be transferred.
-19 school workers will be transferred including five para-professionals, four nutrition workers, one custodian, two behavioral advocates, one secretary, two school safety officers, two community advocates and two two education assistants.
-Principals will be reassigned in early to mid-June.