More than a third of the staff members at a Harlem charter school run by the Success Charter Network have left the school within the last several months, challenging an organization that prides itself on the training and support it offers its teachers.
The unusually high turnover at Harlem Success Academy 3 and the network-wide issue of teachers quitting mid-year led the founder and chief executive of the Success Charter Network, Eva S. Moskowitz, to express concern in an October newsletter.
“This is not a ‘gig’ ” she wrote, informing staff members that by breaking their commitment to the schools and families midyear, they were acting unethically.
At Harlem Success Academy 3, 22 of the school’s 59 administrators, teachers and classroom aides left between the end of the last school year and the beginning of this one, according to the school’s records. Some took jobs at other schools, some moved to new cities and some said they quit out of frustration with the school’s tightly regulated environment...
Few of the teachers who left Harlem Success Academy 3 would speak about why they quit, and those who did refused to be named, citing fear of retribution or concern that they could lose their new teaching positions.
Morty Ballen, the founder and chief executive of Explore Schools, said he had not intentionally poached Success Academy’s teachers.
One former Harlem Success Academy 3 teacher who quit at the end of last school year said she had left because she felt “micromanaged.”
“You couldn’t teach in the way you wanted to teach,” she said. “If your kids weren’t sitting perfectly, looking straight at the teacher, not saying a single word, then you weren’t doing your job.”...
Harlem Success Academy 3
“High Teacher Turnover at a Success Network School.”The New York Times SchoolBook, 10/19/2011