Understandably, the sudden closure of schools has been both immeasurably difficult and confusing for students and adults alike. The first priority for most school districts has been ensuring the safety and nutrition of their students, but now the focus is increasingly on how to keep students learning–and that requires forging teacher policies to address issues about which no one had ever given much thought.
Since 2007, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has been collecting, analyzing, and comparing teacher collective bargaining agreements and board policies in large school districts. When this crisis hit, researchers there asked what, if anything, districts had spelled out in their existing policies relevant to teacher work, pay, and leave in situations of emergency school closures. Then they started collecting the new policies districts are adopting for teachers.
In a new report, NCTQ presents the first round of analysis, focusing on 41 districts to start. They will add more in coming weeks, as well as provide updates on the districts in this analysis as they become available.
The full analysis responds to the following questions:
- What existing policies did districts have in place to deal with emergency closures?
- Are districts working with their unions on new policies?
- How are districts adapting various teacher policies to the new reality?