Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Wouldn't Mind The Extra Money, But This Seems Like A Boondoggle Waiting To Happen

Is this nothing more than a political payoff, or does someone think this will actually change impressions?  What will states and districts have to do to get this money (a la Race To The Top), and, since the money isn't a tremendous amount in each state, how do we decide who gets it and who doesn't?
Could $1 billion make teaching the best job in the world? Well, the U.S. Department of Education is banking that it can at least help make a dent in the perception of teaching as underpaid and not prestigious, anyway: It's pitching a $1 billion program toward that end as part of its fiscal year 2017 budget request.

Under its proposal, districts would use the funds to improve teacher salaries, working conditions, and professional development. Overall, the initiative also aims to help improve the distribution of teacher talent, something the agency has struggled to get states to do.

"I think if we want to ensure that teaching, particularly in our highest-need schools is attractive, we've got to make sure the compensation reflects the complexity of the work. That's why this initiative includes the opportunity for districts to increase salaries for effective teachers in high-needs schools," Acting Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., said in a press call with reporters Friday. "We have a lot of work to do as a country so that regardless of the ZIP code you're in, you have access to an excellent education, and teacher salaries are a part of that. And so too are working conditions," he said, noting the deplorable state of many Detroit school buildings.

The federal program, called RESPECT: The Best Job In the World, would give out competitive grants of $50 million to $250 million to states, which would then offer subgrants to school districts. With the cash, districts would aim to implement the following activities....


Mike43 said...

We had a program, here in Texas, that did something like that. Administrators identified the strongest math and science teachers and proposed to move them to the worst schools, for a year.

The added stipend was $20,000.00. For one year.

At the end of the year, they reviewed the results. Little difference in the schools standing, as measured the appropriate state exams. And every teacher left the profession, moved to another district or refused assignment for the following year. In short, no one wanted the job for even an additional 20 grand.

Lessons the administration did not learn: Effective teachers have effective students.

Darren said...

It takes more to make "an effective teaching environment" than just a classroom teacher. And too many districts are moving in the *wrong* direction, and wondering why things aren't improving.

Ellen K said...

So if you love what Federal mandates do for school lunches, just imagine what wonders they will work with teaching environments and professional development. This may force me to retire earlier than I had planned.