Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Phrase that Pays

NY Post (bootleg edition), the key phrase highlighted:

The United Federation of Teachers, which had long resisted privately operated charter schools, eventually opened two of its own. As its own boss, the union gave the teachers the same seniority rights and tenure they got from the city.

But instructors at Green Dot New York are giving up both in exchange for salaries 10 percent above what the city pays and more say in how to run the school.

I'm reading a lot about paying and firing teachers like professionals, but what's often going unsaid is at the same time the trendlines run strongly against teachers being treated like professionals in their practice. In short, it is a lousy deal to be held accountable for student achievement if you have no rights to determine what you teach, how you teach it, what the disciplinary policies are in your school, what the schedule looks like, what resources are allocated to your classroom, etc., etc., etc. What is a professional teacher supposed to do when he is mandated to begin using a curriculum which he believes will result in lower scores for his kids and lower pay for himself? What is he supposed to do after the first year he loses his bonus because of it?

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