days since

*as of this writing – not a real-time statistic

ASK fires a lot of teachers. And a lot of the teachers that aren’t fired choose not to stay. ASK’s retention rate is abysmal.

We can count 8 people that have been fired this year. Note – this includes people whose contracts were terminated immediately as well as people in the middle of 2-year contracts that were asked not to return next year for the second year. Of these 8, we can confirm 2 that were fired immediately, with one occurring just two days prior to this writing.

We have started receiving a high volume of e-mails and comments from people that are not former faculty. Most of these e-mails are from parents and students, both former and current. The overarching theme of these e-mails is the perception that ASK does not have a “professional” teaching faculty.

Some data bares this out. ASK, in particular in recent years, has had difficult with recruiting with many teachers declining contract offers. This leads to a lot of late-season hiring and, generally, these candidates are not the strongest. In many instances, ASK has had to offer contracts to teachers that are not directly certified to teach the subject in which ASK plans to have them teach. This behavior is catching up to ASK, because with accreditation visits next year, strategies like this will not be acceptable. ASK has found itself with teachers that, while they are perfectly good employees and teachers, do not have the qualifications to teach their appointed subjects. In some cases, ASK has been able to transfer these teachers to the appropriate subjects, but in others, they were simply terminated.

This set of facts should set off alarm bells – both for prospective employees as well as prospective parents. A school that is unable to hire teachers certified in the particular subject in which they will teach is not a school that will last long. Something has to give – either many of the AP subjects that are currently offered will have to go away (take AP Physics for instance – ASK has had extreme difficulty finding a qualified teacher for AP Physics over the last few years), or – if ASK continues to install unqualified teachers – their accreditation will suffer and perhaps even lapse.

ASK is one of the most expensive schools in Kuwait. If we were paying the tuition of a student to attend a school, we would certainly expect for 100% of all faculty to be certified in the appropriate subjects.

In general, employee retention is difficult. In the past few years, teachers have left ASK in droves. You can count the number of teaching faculty who have been at ASK for more than 5 years on one hand. Astonishing. Parents paying such a high tuition deserve to have a more experienced faculty. At the end of the 2017 school year, we calculated that more than 41% of teachers at ASK were departingThat means that this year’s faculty consists of only 59% of teachers that have any experience at ASK. The average teacher turnover rate for schools in NESA (of which ASK is a member) is 17%. (Mancuso, Roberts, & White 2010)

It’s time for ASK to get it together. ASK needs to recruit faculty with experience and certification, and then it needs to implement policies (like those suggested on this page) which will retain those teachers.

Posted by American School of Kuwait Reviews

8 Comments

  1. Teachers at ASK are simple commodities like bags of rice. Buy cheap and stack a few extra up in case some spoil.

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    1. This comment was posted by the same user as the comments on the “Deleted Comments” page (IP Address 188.236.229.204 from Kuwait.)

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  2. OMG. LMAO. I am thrilled to be concluding my teaching in June.

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  3. Former Administrator 09/05/2018 at 2:36 am

    The School Superintendent does not care about students or teachers. She practices friendship over leadership and is more concerned about lining her own pockets than improving the living situation or pay for teachers or providing better resources for students. It’s a game. But who can blame her? The owner is modeling this behavior and the school admin take their lead from him.

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    1. Editor’s note: The comment above (“The School Superintendent does not…”) was authored by a former ASK administrator. This has been noted at the request of the author.

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  4. I’d like to hear the reasons why people were fired this year. Historically, from my knowledge, teachers are rarely fired. Suddenly eight in one year?

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    1. This year seems to be a bit of an anomaly. Historically, teachers have been fired for inappropriate behavior with administrators justified in initiating the termination. This year, however, administration seems to have become quite reactionary. Student and parent complaints (particularly from families with wasta) are being given enough weight to serve as grounds for termination. Administration seems to fear unhappy parents, possibly due to the current legal environment in which the school finds itself. Accreditation is likely leading to the large number of non-renewals. Simply put, ASK has spent the past few years employing teachers that were not licensed to teach the fields they were placed, and now ASK is cutting out those people so they won’t look bad during next year’s accreditation visits.

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  5. […] We know that ASK fires a lot of teachers. […]

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