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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching

Mutual Benefits

New York City's Shift to Mutual Consent in Teacher Hiring

April 29, 2008

The excessed teachers pool is costing New York City big time. What should the city do?

New York City’s 2005 school staffing reform to end the forced placement of teachers has been highly successful, creating mutual benefits for teachers and schools by offering better choices, increased flexibility and greater transparency throughout the staffing process. But the improvements have also created a new problem: a reserve pool of teachers unable to find principals willing to hire them or schools that meet their needs. 

Mutual Benefits documents the characteristics and job search patterns of 235 teachers excessed in 2006 who still had not secured new positions a year and a half later and makes recommendations for a smarter policy for supporting excessed teachers while addressing the high costs of the pool. 

Key recommendations:

  • Provide excessed teachers with substantial job search support.
  • Extend reserve pool time for tenured teachers.
  • Design incentives for teachers to search for jobs aggressively.
  • Place unselected teachers on unpaid leave after a reasonable period of time in the reserve pool. 

New York City cannot afford further inaction. We urge city leaders to devise a solution that provides fair opportunities and incentives for teachers without exacting an unfairly high price from New York City’s students and schools.