Yesterday, the announcement was made that Baltimore “City Schools Administrators Approve Progressive New Contract”, which ties principals’ salaries to their School’s student achievement. I forwarded the press release to our staff with this statement …
“Now if we can get the teacher’s compensation tied to student’s achievement.”
Sharon Rabb wrote back with this response, we’d love to hear your’s:
“Many teachers do not get the kind of education that allows them to move beyond basic skills. Additional teacher training and mentoring could help them, but this is not given either. Higher pay does not make them better teachers if they are not given the tools to teach.
An additional issue is the schools that they teach in. Their programs are not designed for today’s students.
In contrast: My daughter, when she was a classroom teacher, had the highest 7th grade math scores in DC Public Schools. She did not get them because she was paid more. She explains the difference comes from the entire school, a charter school that is allowed to make it’s own program, hire it’s own teachers, and set it’s own hours and year. The school day for students is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student falling behind may stay until 7 p.m. for tutoring. Also, the school is a year ‘round school with the school year beginning in June instead of September. Students are always 3 months ahead of their peers in other schools.
Also, most of the teachers come to the school after 2 successful years at Teach for America. TfA recruits from the best colleges and has become highly competitive.
Jennifer is no longer in the classroom, but works as a teacher trainer for new teachers entering the charter school’s network. Teachers do not have tenure and if they do not make the grade, they are asked to leave. There seem to be plenty of replacements waiting to fill spots at the school.
So…The answer to improved test scores is not just more pay but 1) better educated teacher, 2) longer school day, 3) longer school year, and 4) teacher support and monitoring as they are in the classroom.
By the way, there is a KIPP charter school in Baltimore, KIPP Ujima Academy. The students there are among the highest scoring in the city system, and, like Jennifer’s students in DC, they come from the general population and are not selected to be the best students.”
What are your thoughts?
Linda Brown Rivelis, President – Campaign Consultation, Inc.