Kudos to the gang at PS 196x and to the Lucy and Yoav from the Post for reporting the story. And for going to ICE'ers James Eterno and Lisa North for comments. Kudos to them too for speaking publicly. (Check out more from Lisa and James on the ICE blog.) Make sure to read ICE'er Michael Fiorillo's (yeah, kudos to him) amazing post on this blog from a few days ago on merit pay. (just scroll down.) Oh, and with these 3 founding members of ICE doing their thing it reminds me that ICE turned 4 years old on Halloween. Kudos and Happy Birthday to all the gang at ICE who keep plugging no matter what. And kudos to Jan, parent from Dist 2 for her great comment of support her teachers and the principal at her child's school as it relates to the school progress report. The outrage of some of these grades ties in with the crazy way merit pay will be distributed.
And kudos to eduwonkette for writing this today: "Five years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article called "The Talent Myth" questioning the management zeitgeist that the NYC Department of Education has swallowed wholesale...."
One thing leads to another and guess which company is the model? It starts with an E and ends with bankruptcy and dissolution on desolation road, or on the road to desolation.
Teachers at PS 196X Reject Merit Pay
From NY Post:
By LUCY CARNE and YOAV GONEN
November 5, 2007 -- Teachers at a Bronx elementary school gave a surprising response to a bonus plan that would pay them roughly $3,000 each for schoolwide student gains: Thanks, but no thanks.
Even without knowing if their school will be selected for the controversial program, more than 30 teachers at PS 196 voted preliminarily to reject it - largely because of its emphasis on
student test scores.
"I'm trying to move away from test scores being the be-all, end-all," said a PS 196 teacher. "I'd rather impress upon them the importance of a well-rounded education."
Mayor Bloomberg and United Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten announced the bonus plan with much fanfare Oct. 17 in conjunction with a pension agreement relished by the teachers union. Many saw the bonus plan as a trade-off, and as a step toward an individual merit-pay plan sought by Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
The bonus plan calls for teachers at 200 of the lowest-performing schools to divvy up $20 million in private funds for improving student performance. Individual teacher payment will be determined by a four-person committee at each school.
But the union was given an escape hatch that some members seem to be savoring: 55 percent of teachers at each school must vote to participate in the plan.
"The whole concept is an insult that you're not working hard unless we throw 3,000 bucks at you," said James Eterno, a longtime social-studies teacher at Jamaica HS in Queens.
Eterno added that he wouldn't be surprised to see at least some schools reject an invitation to the program, which is expected to double to 400 schools next year.
Department of Education spokeswoman Debra Wexler said the list of eligible schools is still being worked on but officials "are completely confident that educators will want to be part of a program that rewards excellence."
Even Weingarten acknowledged that the program, despite relying too heavily on test scores, was better received than she had expected.
"For now, what we did was include enough checks and balances that this is something where the school staff has equal power with the principal to decide to go into this process and decide how the money gets distributed," she said.
Whether schools ultimately accept or refuse offers for the bonus pay, wary teachers maintain that aligning teacher rewards with student scores sets a bad precedent.
"I think it lowers the standard of what good education is," said Lisa North, a literacy coach at PS 3 in Brooklyn.
Grading Public Schools by Jan, parent in Dist. 2