Philadelphia School Notebook reports that 139 public school teachers were reassigned to new jobs this week, part of a “leveling” process that cuts the number of split-grade classes—where, say, second- and third-graders share a room and a teacher—in half.
“While the overall level of changes is slightly higher than last year, this process will relieve overcrowding in several schools, providing better learning environments for our students,” said Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite. “Leveling is an opportunity to address enrollment concerns early in the school year.”
The Inquirer reports that leveling has been a painful process, pulling some teachers from classes and students they’d already become familiar with to reassign them elsewhere.
District-wide, the changes are causing a ripple effect. Parkway Center City, a magnet high school, lost one teacher, but class schedules were shuffled for almost everyone. Some students who had been enrolled in Spanish lost the class and will have to take the subject in another year, one teacher said.
Social studies teacher Dave Thomer lost one section of world history and picked up a section of ethics in its place.
“I have to do enough in the next three weeks that I feel comfortable giving kids a grade,” said Thomer. “I’m starting from scratch, seven weeks into the school year.”
It’s worth reading the whole thing.