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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Does Trey Csar believe teachers are professionals? And why you should care

Who is Trey Csar? He is the president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and among other partnerships with the district most notably the administration of the Quality education for All funds, they are running the Teacher of the Year awards.

I had the following email exchange with him and I will let you be the judge. Mr. Csar is in bold


I had this message in my inbox after I wrote a piece about the upcoming teacher of the year events.

 When I worked with Trey, he said that he thought that teaching probably should NOT be a profession but a job that people do for a while and then move on.
He seriously believes that the TFA model should be the national norm!

I think the source is pretty credible so I am going to write about it, but I thought I would give you a chance to refute, explain, give context  if you want.


Chris --

Thanks for reaching out. I think your source is misunderstanding the context of what we've started to talk about relating to the teaching profession and the desires of an increasingly millennial workforce.

What we know from a ton of generational research (see this and this, among others) is that millennials are significantly more likely to change jobs, and even careers, and to do so more frequently than their peers in other generations. When you put that up against the traditional view of a classroom teacher, who spends the majority, if not all, of their career in that role, there is clearly a mismatch.

Across the country, districts need to be asking themselves what they can do to create opportunities for teachers to customize their careers in ways that allow them to have additional impact, and gain additional professional respect and compensation. We also have to be proactive in thinking about the impact of a workforce where the average tenure is likely to continue to get shorter, including additional professional development and recruiting costs, and whether districts and states should explore changing compensation systems to increase early-career pay (and retirement benefits) to be more competitive in recruiting talent.

If we as a society don't address this, and soon, we're going to continue facing the quality teacher shortages we've been seeing grow in recent years.

At JPEF, we have been exploring, with teachers, how such a "career lattice" could be structured that allows for great teachers to keep one foot in the classroom, teaching a reduced class load, while also contributing to the needs of their school and district in news ways, such as coaching new teachers, writing curriculum, and the like.

We don't have all the answers, that's for sure, but we're eager to continue that conversation with educators to see whether Duval County can find innovative ways to address these challenges.

Again, I appreciate you reaching out in advance to seek additional input and clarification. I'm eager to continue to conversation at any time. If any of your readers want to be part of these discussions, many of them happen as part of our Teacher Roundtable work, and folks can contact Zak Champagne at for information about how to get involved.

-- Trey

Thanks for getting back to me and where what you said is vastly different from what i was told and when I went back to them they were more than a little incredulous, I will take your word for it, sometimes misunderstandings occur. Just so I am clear though you are not for using the TFA model as a national model and you want to help find solutions to get teachers to stay longer such as having them do other things besides teach.

This is what always baffles me about the ed reform movement, they never say, you know what we have to pay teachers more, a lot more, sure they try merit pay schemes every once in a while and like the QEAs has they ultimately fail or are patently ridiculous like the best and brightest but raising salaries has never really been on the table, especially here in Florida.

Then they never say, also lets make classes smaller, a lot smaller because that has evidence it works, no, here in Florida when the citizens demanded it, the legislature gutted it.

Also they never say, lets take some pressure off teachers, lighten their work loads, give them more resources, lets back them up with discipline or you know common sense things that teachers have been begging and clamoring for.

It seems like your solution is, hey let a few write curriculum, be coaches or move to administration, which seems like only a small percentage of teachers could do. there are only so many AP and coach positions available. To professional teachers that's not a solution and spoiler alert no veteran wants a 27 year old AP or coach with three or four years experience telling them what to do or critiquing them.

So can I use what you sent me for a piece? I will send it to you for review before I put it up.

Thanks again

I didn't hear back from him so I figured I was good, but if I do I will let you know.


  1. They haven't had a teachers' round table for about a year or did they stop notifying me? Dropping me from the list? So I have to ask what teachers are they working with to come up with this 'career lattice'?

  2. Checked their website, nope, no new teacher round table. Although they did have a link for those wanting a super search update. And, I'm not making this up, they had a picture with Vitti for the banner photo. LOL.

  3. I'm sorry customize our career??? So we can have more impact??? Impact on whom? I always thought I was having the greatest impact I could have when teaching children! I will ask to be a part of their round table. I agree pay them more or get those dedicated teachers who left because of pay back in the classroom.

  4. It sounds like they want to train up a telecommunications staff not teachers. Or maybe that's just how they view teaching--as a transient career. JPEF goes out of its way to pander to TFA & similar groups.

  5. Well, this grand idea would sure cut down on pension money wouldn't it?

  6. Teaching is no longer a profession? Doctors get to be doctors until they die, but teachers are not supposed to teach until they retire? Why do they go to college and get a degree to teach if that was not the job they wanted to do? fire fighters, policemen and military all stay in the profession, but might go up in ranks and have different job title, but as government workers they get the same pay . Why is it so wrong for teachers? Seems those in Admin want to lower the standards for becoming a teacher to lower the pay and lower cuts and salary for all.....just sad.