Friday, June 05, 2009
NYC experiments with 6-figure-salaried teachers
The New York Times, on the front page June 5, reported on an experiment with paying public school teachers six figures at a charter school in Washington Heights in New York City. The story is by Elissa Goodman, is titled “Next Test: Value of $125,000-a-Year Teachers”, link here. A number of teachers from around the country competed for eight positions, and one of the top qualities of a chosen teacher is “engagement factor,” particularly in middle school, as a measure of the ability to make kids forget that they were even at school.
The school is called the Equity Project, and opens to about 120 fifth graders, mostly from low income Hispanic families, chosen by lottery. So the teachers are chosen by application and competition, and the kids are chosen by chance.
Teachers share administrative duties and, as with the case of teachers under Michelle Rhee’s reign in Washington DC, can be subject to dismissal and have less union protection. That’s a far cry from New York City practice of putting bad teachers in a holding pen, paying them to not be in the classroom, as John Stossel has reported before.
Back in the 50s and 60s the NYC schools had a good reputation, and kids dreaded the New York State Regent’s exams. I remember talk of that.