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View Diary: Why Obama's New Teacher Incentive Pay Will Take Education Backward (254 comments)

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  •  There are many things that any parent with a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J, bobtmn, caul

    child in public schools knows, and that's why education is going through such major change.

    As a parent I reject the idea that horrid teachers are kept on at the top of the pay scale while great teachers are paid the same, or even much less. "Professional" have no more nor less reason to be incentivised with higher pay than anyone else. Until we can find a way to ease out those teachers that never should have taken up the work in the first place, and until we start seeing kids with the same basic sets of skills we need standardized testing and an end to tenure.

    My 9 year old said the other day that the worst thing about knowing his old teacher was still there was knowing that she was doing the same stuff to a whole new class of kids. Not only incentives for good work but docking pay for bad work. Ratings by parents and kids.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 04:30:06 AM PDT

    •  How (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Do we ease out bad doctors, lawyers, construction workers, computer programmers, engineers...oh wait we don't.  I do agree that excellent young teachers should be rewarded with faster pay increases, but again how will the teachers be evaluated?  No current system works.  

      I take political action every day. I teach.

      by jbfunk on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:41:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We fire them, that's out in the real world. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobtmn, caul, RainyDay

        Docs also lead a protected life shielded by secrecy with no public info to compare success or costs.

        Lawyers get no business if they are bad.

        Construction workers are just run off the job. Computer programmers are never hired permanently or are the fist let go.

        Let the principals evaluate teachers, give students and parents an evaluation form at the end of the year too. Principals should make the decision though, just like with every other job. If need be jobs can be protected by doing other valuable work in janitorial, food service, or as teachers aids.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 08:02:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Every tried to fire someone in corporate america? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbfunk, scarvegas, maf1029, elfling

          It only happens when someone does something egregious, like assaulting a co-worker, viewing porn on their company computer, or stealing from the company.   In all other cases you will have to build a case against someone in order to fire them.  Why is that?  Employment lawsuits.

          My wife and I together have over 40 years experience in corporate America in positions where were managed other people.  Neither of us was ever able to fire anyone even though we've had plenty of people who are far worse than any teacher I've ever encountered in 15 years of our kids in school—and our kids have gone to NYC, Stamford (city of 120,000) and Wilton CT (18,000) public schools.  I've seen a lot.

          In order to get rid of someone we had to come up with creative methods.  Most of the time, we tried to do it with the best intentions of helping the person.  I helped on of my designers realize he was on a path to misery because he just didn't want to do restricted in-house corporate design work. I encouraged him to go out and find a job at a design studio or agency.  He did and was very successful. I still see him a few times a year for coffee or whatever.

          Other times, there's nothing you can do because the person just doesn't care.  I had a person who was protected by another manager (he reported to both of us).  I was never able to do anything about it.  The other manager protected him out of loyalty, but even he knew he was doing as little as possible and it was simply unfair to the others.  In the end, sometimes lay-offs are simply ways to purge.

          The real world isn't as simple as you present it and neither is teaching.  No school is full of 100% amazing teachers anymore than any business is 100% amazing workers.  If there were enough bad teachers to ruin a child's education, then you are in a very bad school system.

          "Wall Street expertise, an industry in which anything not explicitly illegal is fair game, and the illegal things are fair game too if you think you won't get caught." — Hunter

          by Back In Blue on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 08:42:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good administrators similarly (0+ / 0-)

            use the "counseling out" strategy to remove a lot of ill-fitting teachers. People will cite the low number of teachers "fired" as evidence that you can't remove a bad teacher but in fact nearly everyone who leaves a job resigns - just as is typical in the private sector. Those resignations are not always out of the blue from the employee, but are often the result of a specific effort on the part of an administrator.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 09:54:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let principals evaluate teachers? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scarvegas, maf1029

          You undersatnd that far too often the worst of teachers become principals.  Try having some "real world" conversations with teachers and ask them about their administrations. From principals all the way up to superintendents, school administrations are one of the biggest problems with education, not teachers.  BTW if you have a good principal at your school you are very fortunate, and I am sincerely happy for you and your children.  

          I take political action every day. I teach.

          by jbfunk on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 09:06:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Inexperience, too. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbfunk, maf1029

            It only took four years in the classroom to match the teaching experience of every principal I worked for. Having a person who taught math for four years and became a teacher only because it was the best avenue to be a football coach evaluate how I taught writing was a complete joke.

            Administration is in deeper need of reform than teaching.

          •  Great principals and great superintendents (0+ / 0-)

            are key to strong school systems, no doubt. A good principal gets the most from the staff and attracts better staff. A sucky principal can destroy a school in no time.

            In our district, interview panels for a new staff member always try to include at least one member of the community. (When we interview for high school principals, we involve students as well. Having a few students give a prospective principal a tour of the campus with no other adults is useful too.) Don't let them settle for someone terrible.

            Get involved. Go to your school board meetings. Attend site council meetings at the school, if your school has such a thing. If your district doesn't involve the community in interviews, ask them why not. If your district is making bad hiring decisions, make your concerns known to the Board of Education. That's what they're for, to direct the school system and to ensure it is populated with high quality people.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 10:00:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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