[Homestead] Education, better pay for teachers in Minnesota

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Thu Sep 23 18:12:18 EDT 2004


For measured better results, and factored-in bad conditions, not just 
seniority.


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  Paying for better teachers

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is contin uing his efforts to bring sanity 
to his state's teacher pay practices - and he now has a former Cleveland 
educator as an ally.

Pawlenty sought last year to pay top-tier teachers $100,000 a year and 
award bonuses to those whose students made major test score gains, but 
was thwarted by the legislature. This time, he's launching a pilot 
program involving a small southeastern school district and three 
Minneapolis schools. Thandiwe Peebles, a former regional superintendent 
in Cleveland, now leads the Minneapolis public schools and appeared at 
Pawlenty's press conference.

The state is spending more than $5 million to pilot the Teacher 
Advancement Program, a model that combines intensive teacher training 
and mentoring with performance-based pay. Developed and run through the 
Milken Family Foundation, TAP now operates in eight states and more than 
five-dozen schools across the country. Although TAP is fairly new, early 
research has indicated significant reading and math gains in its 
schools, as compared to scores from control schools. So far, no Ohio 
district has adopted the model, although the president of the Cincinnati 
teachers union has expressed interest in exploring it.

Traditional compensation systems give teachers more money for their 
years of service and advanced degrees, but provide no rewards for 
teachers who make measurable differences in the amount students learn. 
Nor do they provide incentives for teachers who work in particularly 
difficult schools or in hard-to-staff specialties. In short, a teacher 
who does no more than sit in front of the class and read a newspaper all 
day gets the same pay as one who labors tirelessly to develop creative 
lessons, improve teaching style and assist peers in doing the same.

Pawlenty recognizes that this approach makes no sense, and actually 
drives away some of the profession's most talented instructors. He 
deserves credit for keeping his focus on excellence in teaching despite 
earlier setbacks.






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