It used to be that different schools across the district had different hiring policies. Some schools hiring processes were governed by the district, others by the schools themselves, so called ‘site selection.’ When I entered into the process of selecting a school for my child, I was told by many in the know that I should ask whether a school I was considering has site selection or not. The implication of site selection is that when principals, parents, and teachers make the decisions on which teachers to hire, you end up with better people in teaching positions. Conversely, where schools without site selection base their hiring on seniority, parents felt that it doesn’t give schools the opportunity to choose the teachers that are most in line with the vision for the school.
The recent teacher contract at the School District of Philadelphia greatly expands the use of site selection across the district.
Effective immediately in the District’s roughly 90 high-needs schools, all teachers will be hired through site selection committees comprised of the principal, at least three teachers selected by the Building Committee, one parent chosen by the Home and School Association, and one Vice-Principal and/or student in high schools. The principal must reach consensus with the committee on a hiring decision; if no consensus is reached, the principal must choose from the top three candidates, as ranked by the committee. Source: Site selection victory in contract | Philadelphia Public School Notebook.
This is certainly good news for improving the schools in our city.