Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

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As teacher transfer season opens across the country, districts are faced with the perennial issue of filling empty teacher slots in low-performing schools. While many school districts are starting to offer carrots to teachers if they'll agree to teach in hard-to-staff schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Superintendent James Pughsley is using the stick approach and just saying 'no.'

Teachers wanting to transfer will not be allowed to move into 35 high performing schools that have been identified by the district for meeting district goals for staff experience and qualification. Barring the door on these schools effectively forces teachers into harder to staff schools. There are still over 100 other schools into which teachers may transfer; the district is using some carrots to cajole teachers into positions in the lowest performing schools among this group.

Teachers are certainly frustrated with the program that was conceived two years ago by Pughsley, but that frustration is overshadowed by the success of the program, seen especially at the elementary school level with these schools filling slots with highly qualified teachers.