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Job openings for NOLA-PS are now in one place; officials hope it will help hiring, retention

A teacher works on a writing exercise with a PreK students at KIPP Central City Primary. Oct. 2, 2020.
Aubri Juhasz
A teacher works on a writing exercise with a PreK students at KIPP Central City Primary. Oct. 2, 2020.

Since New Orleans began transitioning to an all-charter public school system nearly two decades ago, landing a teaching job has become an increasingly arduous process, requiring applicants to identify openings and submit applications with dozens of independent operators.

Now, a local education nonprofit hopes the creation of a centralized job board, like those available in traditional public school districts, will streamline the process and improve staff retention in the district.

Current and prospective teachers can now view available openings across all of the city’s public schools on a single website called The New Orleans Teacher Job Board, the board’s creator announced Wednesday.

The job board's search feature allows applicants to filter results and create email alerts. Dec. 2, 2021.
The New Orleans Teacher Job Board
The job board allows applicants to filter results and create email alerts. Dec. 2, 2021.

“We are left with hundreds of open positions across the district [each year],” a release from New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) said. “It’s therefore critical that we make it as easy as possible for schools to hire experienced teachers and for teachers to find great jobs.”

The release goes on to say that the city “like much of the country, is facing a crisis in teacher retention and recruitment,” adding that around 25% of New Orleans public school teachers leave their roles each year.

While fears of a mass teacher exodus due to the pandemic haven’t materialized yet, schools and districts that already suffered from high teacher turnover are still facing significant issues.

New Orleans’ new teachers had an attrition rate of 28% in 2019, twice as high as other comparable cities, according to a year-long study by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, NOLA Public Schools, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Baptist Community Ministries.

While compensation played a role in attrition, researchers found new teachers were also leaving their jobs because of burnout due to inadequate support and training.

Nearly four out of 10 New Orleans’ public school teachers had three years’ experience or less, according to the analysis, which also found new teachers were concentrated in one-third of the city’s schools, where more than half of staff members were also new to the profession.

A majority of those schools served a student body that was at least 90% Black and 90% economically disadvantaged.
Before Hurricane Katrina, nearly three-quarters of New Orleans’ public school teachers were Black and had 15 years of classroom experience on average, according to the 2019 study. After the storm, they were fired en masse and many never returned to teaching.

The city’s teachers union was dismantled, and state-led reforms resulted in the eventual creation of an all-charter school system that now consists of more than 50 charter operators and 80 schools. Today's teachers are also more likely to be white and from outside of New Orleans.

The job board is an upgrade to an earlier teacher recruitment website, Teach New Orleans, which first launched in 2018 and has been used to hire more than 400 educators, according to NSNO.

The job board is one of many examples of the organization’s partnership with the city’s public school district, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS).

“NOLA-PS’ collaboration with NSNO on the New Orleans Teacher Job Board is a one-stop solution that streamlines the process for teachers to apply to our 76 schools,” said Taslin Alfonzo, the district’s director of media relations in an email Wednesday night.

The purpose of the board is to share openings across various schools in one place, saving both schools and applicants time in the job hiring process. Teachers can search all open roles across New Orleans Public Schools and sort by grade level and subject area.

The new board is connected directly to most school websites, so when a job is posted to a school’s website, it’s automatically added to the board, according to NSNO.

In addition, applicants no longer have to apply to each school individually. Instead, they can submit their resume to all schools by filling out a single form, after which schools can contact individual candidates directly to continue the application process.

“Ultimately, the New Orleans Teacher Job Board will be a more efficient way for schools and potential teaching candidates, both teaching and staff roles, to connect and help fill much-needed teaching positions,” Alfonzo said.

Aubri Juhasz covers K-12 education, focusing on charter schools, education funding, and other statewide issues. She also helps edit the station’s news coverage.

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