Friday, July 04, 2008

A Mind-Boggling Attempt At Teaching Reform

From the Washington Post:

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is proposing a contract that would give mid-level teachers who are paid $62,000 yearly the opportunity to earn more than $100,000 -- but they would have to give up seniority and tenure rights, two union members familiar with the negotiations said yesterday.

Under the proposal, the school system would establish two pay tiers, red and green, said the union members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential. Teachers in the red tier would receive traditional raises and would maintain tenure. Those who voluntarily go into the green tier would receive thousands of dollars in bonuses and raises, funded with foundation grants, for relinquishing tenure.

Teachers in the green tier would be reviewed yearly and would be allowed to continue in their jobs only if they passed an evaluation and boosted students' test scores, the union members said.

Now there's an interesting idea. It would be interesting to see if and how it gets implemented.

Under Rhee's proposal, raises to the green tier would be more than the 19 percent increase over five years she is proposing for all teachers, the union members said.

Not a bad raise, especially considering that the sheeple of my local union approved, 92%-8%, a contract that provides a 0% raise this year.

Rhee, who declined to comment yesterday because of the ongoing negotiations, has said she wants a contract that would "revolutionize education as we know it." She also has said she wants to improve instruction by ensuring that the District "has the most highly compensated and competent" teachers in the country.

My respect for the chancellor continues to grow. Read more about her here.

Have a happy 4th of July.

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

Flogging differential pay has a certain trendiness about it and the unions are certainly dead set against it but while there's a central administration there'll be substantial constituency that'll fight Superintendent Rhee from inside the organization she's supposed to be running.

As long as the central administration exists it can't do anything but inject inefficiency and self-aggrandizement into the system since they have no worthwhile function.

Since the performance-pay policy comes from the superintendent it'll require interpretation and elaboration, Superintendent Rhee not having enough time in her day to establish all the ins and outs of a complex policy like performance pay. That'll all take time, require head count to create and head count to administer and get progressively more complex over time as complaints about the shortcomings of the guidelines are addressed by additions to the policy.

Good luck Superintendent Rhee but so far no superintendent has proven themselves capable of taming the administrative beast in a large, urban school district.