Mutual Consent, Priorities, and Nonsense

This is not a post about policy.  It’s about priorities

Over the summer a chief selling points by the various advocacy groups was the idea of “mutual consent”.  In any hiring, the Teacher and Principal would agree on the final decision.   This would replace the current system of Seniority and transfers.

According to groups like PennCan, The Philadelphia School Partnership, and the Coaltion for Effective Teaching [sic], mutual consent should be the major change in the next teacher’s contract.  You can read there logic here, here, and here.

From “A Way Forward for the District”

Ensuring mutual consent – meaning both principal and teacher must agree in all hiring and transfer decisions – while not a silver bullet, is the best way to recruit and keep great leaders, and to ensure that teachers work in jobs where each can have the greatest impact.

OK, I follow.  Clearly, we need some sort of new hiring process that allows Principals a greater ability to choose their staff.  This must be something brand new, right?  Innovative enough to propel our schools to success?

For your consideration:  Here’s the text from page 72 of the “current” PFT/SDP contract:

The Principal, in consultation with the Staff Selection Committee, shall
establish appropriate, objective criteria and procedures to identify candidates
for filling vacancies.
The Staff Selection Committee will follow the established procedures
to screen candidates. The Principal and the Staff Selection Committee will reach
consensus on the most qualified candidate for each available position. In the
event that the Committee fails to reach consensus, the Principal shall make the
selection from among the three (3) most qualified applicants as ranked by the

So the teacher must consent to meet with the committee and the Principal, advised but not terribly constrained by a committee of stakeholders, must consent.  It’s almost as if we already have a system where parties must mutually consent to hiring of teachers.  On paper.  From 2009.

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