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Ogden teacher sheds light on being let go

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- An Ogden teacher who was told he would not have a job next year talked to ABC 4 about why he thinks 17 teachers in the district were suddenly let go.
"They just either aren't fitting in to the schools' plan for next year or perhaps there is some performance issues," says Ogden School District Communications Director Zac Williams. "We take our performance very, very serious."
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- The Ogden School District recently told 17 teachers they would not have a job next school year.

The teachers are all under provisional contracts.

In Utah, provisional teachers can be let go in the first three years of their contracts. Many times teachers are not given a reason on why they are being let go.

The Ogden-Weber UniServ union said 100 teachers were not renewed or had resigned or retired in 2013. This year more teachers have been let go.

ABC 4 UTAH spoke to one of those teachers who will be identified as Joe. Joe wants to be hired by another school district.

"It is either being a monetary thing or where they can bring in another teacher and pay him half the salary they pay me or I may have spoke up a time or two about something that may be good for the students that might help better the district and they don't like that," said Joe.

Last Monday the school district said they are focusing their time on math and science performance -- one reason why these 17 teachers were let go.

Ogden School District Communications Director Zac Williams said last Monday that in some cases, some teachers were let go because they weren't doing the job.

"They just either aren't fitting in to the schools' plan for next year or perhaps there is some performance issues," Williams said. "We take our performance very, very serious."

A performance Joe disagrees with. He has been a teacher in the state for nine years.

"They only like what they want you to do, " says Joe. "If you have a different idea and you speak up you are kinda the bad guy because you don't think their idea is perfect."

The teacher feels he and his colleagues have been singled out and now they have made another choice.

"Just like a lot of the other good teachers, I am looking out of state. I don't want to be a part of a state that treats their teachers like this," said Joe.

Sixteen of the 17 teachers have resigned to improve the likelihood they will get hired in another district.

On Sunday, Williams responded to the teachers' comments with this: "After being coached by support team professionals during their provisional contracts, the teachers were deemed not to be good teachers and let go."
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