President Obama: More experienced teachers needed in urban schools

Education Department asks states to redistribute experienced educators

President Barack Obama speaks at a celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP)–President Obama is asking states to put more experienced teachers into the schools he says need it the most. 22News found out why that may a challenge for some school districts here in Western Massachusetts.

The President’s latest education initiative says the country’s urban education system needs help.

President Obama and Education Department Secretary Arne Duncan now propose putting more experienced teachers in low-income, high ethnicity school districts, where students are more likely to get a first-year teacher.

But the Husband of one West Springfield teacher argues the proposed solution isn’t a complete one. “Maybe you want to put the best teachers into these schools because you think the best teachers are going to solve all the problems, but those best teachers need a lot of support too,” Bill Maloney, from West Springfield, said.

And that need for extra support is something Holyoke Superintendent of Schools told 22News is critical when a teacher starts out or moves into an urban school system.

Superintendent of Holyoke Schools, Dr. Sergio Paez says, experienced or not, teaching in an urban setting has to be the right fit for the teacher as it comes with a specific set of challenges.

“It’s difficult. I think that the biggest part is that it is challenging. The social issues, the economic issues, the socioeconomics is a big factor is education and having to be working in and in contact with communities that the teachers are not familiar with,” Dr. Paez told 22news.

That additional strain is something Dr. Paez says causes a high turn over rate. In Holyoke, more than 60 percent of teachers leave within they’re first 5 years.

President Obama is proposing a more than 4 million dollars to make this initiative happen.

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