“We have retirements, things happen. People move. Change of life plans, whatever it is. This is pretty average for us – this many openings this time of year,” said Deborah Dominguez-Clark, Director of the District’s Special Education Department.
“We usually have our applications and everything online and then we call people for interviews. But, right now, we wanted to be boots on the ground and have people come in and do some interviews.” —Deborah Dominguez-Clark, Director, Albuquerque Public Schools, quoted in “APS Hosts Job Fair for Special Education Teachers,” KOB-TV, 12.2.14
Another couple of months have wildly careened out of control in K-12 education, and it’s time for another Burque Babble update on job openings in Albuquerque Public Schools. To make things a bit easier to follow, let’s simplify the screenprint of current job openings below
by looking at numbers in the “Big Four” categories of Elementary, Middle, High and Special Education over the three data points we have this Semester. Apologies as WordPress and your humble blogger aren’t very good at such formatting:
- Elementary (August: 70, October: 29; December: 19)
- Middle (August: 15; October: 12; December: 12)
- High (August: 19; October: 17; December: 17)
- SpEd (August: 97; October: 69; December: 60)
- Totals (August: 191; October: 127; December: 108)
APS employs about 6,300 teachers. So what to make of 108 current opening in these categories?
Well, first I’m going to, once again, respectfully disagree with Director Dominguez-Clark. I admire her trotting out the above quote over and over, fully expecting, correctly, that the local press will dutifully write it down and publish it with zero further examination. That takes gumption, well in places not called Albuquerque it takes gumption, I guess.
Second, the numbers above do mean something and something damaging to our kids. They also indirectly imply an even bigger damage, the deleterious effect of experienced teachers leaving the profession in disgust to be replaced by far less experienced teachers. In grandly proclaiming her desire to raise starting pay yesterday, Governor Martinez not-so-indirectly implied that she doesn’t care one whit about experienced teachers. She’s fully in favor of them continuing to go away.
Trust us, Governor, we experienced teachers will continue to go away. And it won’t always be because of the nasty tendency for us to get old and die. Personally, I kinda hate doing the Governor a favor in this regard, but looking out over the charred post-apocalyptic vista of K-12 teaching right now, and the kids suffering because of it, doing her a favor by getting the Hell out of this Teaching Mad Max landscape is psychologically necessary.
In sum, APS Director Dominguez-Clark should be able to roll out that tired quote about “pretty average for us” month after month after year to come. Well, at least until she retires (although KOB would probably continue to dutifully just use the quote even after she retires).