Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nine Months Later

It's been over nine months since my last blog posting.  Actually I have been consistently commenting on other blogs and news articles but at the expense of my own blog.  Plus now since my blog was given a "Hat Tip" in a "Teacher in a Strange Land" posting I'm feeling motivated (pressured) again to crank out some new commentaries.

I'm also considering rethinking my blog, having it become a source of things I find interesting on the Internet with a few insightful comments without going on a full rant.  This posting will be an example of that.

One of the education blogs I visit on a regular basis is Maureen Downey's "Get Schooled" blog on the Atlanta Journal/Constitution website.   A recent "Get Schooled" posting addressed the issue of "performance pay" for teachers.  While the article centered around the opinions of the current Georgia Teacher of the Year, what really struck me was one of the reader comments by a reader commenting as "teacher&mom".  Her comments included:

What happens in a district that mandates a reading curriculum….like Reading First? Is it fair to penalize teachers if you tie their hands and force them to teach from a scripted curriculum?

What happens if you agree to supervise a student teacher for a semester and the test scores dip?

What happens if your administration decides to re-arrange the schedule? For example, you go from a 4 X 4 block schedule to a 7 period day or an A/B block schedule. Isn’t it possible that scores may slide as everyone adjusts to a new schedule?

What happens if the budget crunch means 35+ students in a classroom?

What happens when the Common Core Standards come into play and teachers begin to train and implement the new standards? Will they experience a dip in scores?

What happens when a teacher is out for maternity leave and the district decides to not pay for a long-term substitute and instead rotates different substitutes in and out of the classroom for several weeks?

What happens if the local judicial system does not help the school system with chronic attendance problems and teachers have students with 20+ absences taking the CRCT/EOCT?

What happens to the test score of the student who finally qualifies for special education AFTER the CRCT?

What happens to the teachers’ pay when we have a testing fiasco like the 7th grade Social Studies CRCT?

Remember the National Board Certification stipend —-Gone

Remember the High Performing Administrator Bonus — not in this year’s budget

Remember the Master Teacher Program —- anyone know where it went?

I wonder how many are willing to take the risk that maybe this time our legislators won’t change their minds or manipulate the numbers to control costs?
Interesting points by "teacher&mom" wouldn't you say?  While I'm not philosophically opposed to performance pay, there are many details as "teacher&mom" points out that will have to been considered before most teachers will support such an idea.