Walcott outlined new steps to get struggling instructors out of classrooms and off the city payroll in a speech he delivered Thursday.
“If we can't find a way to improve teacher quality even further, it will be impossible to ensure our students are being taught the skills to succeed beyond high school,” said Walcott at a meeting of the Association for a Better New York.
First, Walcott said, the Education Department will offer to buy out teachers who have worked in the city schools without a permanent assignment for more than one year.
The agency will save money by offering about 500 instructors who meet the criteria a one-time payment -- the amount of which hasn’t been determined -- to get out of the system, said Walcott.
The city intends to make those offers as soon as possible, education officials said. The teachers union would have to sign off on the details.
Then the Chancellor outlined two new measures the city may take if officials can’t reach a deal with the union over teacher evaluations by September.
First, the city will pull teachers with two consecutive years of unsatisfactory ratings from the classroom. Less than 3 % of teachers earn those rating from principals.
The policy would affect just a “few hundred” teachers who “don’t deserve to teach in our schools and in front of our students,” said Walcott.
Also, Walcott said, officials would tweak class assignments so that no elementary school student would be assigned two years in a row to teachers deemed incompetent.
Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew said he’s “prepared to listen” to Walcott’s proposal for buy-outs, but he scoffed at Walcott’s plan to pull poorly rated teachers from the classroom.
“The more important issue is the thousands of good teachers who leave the system every year because of substandard pay, bad teaching conditions and lack of support from their superiors,” said Mulgrew.