There was much talk and excitement post Gates speech about Bill Gates and the AFT Innovation Fund. Hillsborough was a major point of contact - or attack. Read Leonie's post carefully to see where this is headed. Pay scales based on the results on tests. It is worth checking out Valerie Strauss' posts at WaPo.
I also have some links to Ed Week and EIA from AFT and NEA - though as always, EIA is anti-union and Ed Week's Sawchuk has to be parsed.
Since January 2008, more than 250 Gates grants have targeted causes such as charter schools, testing research, data systems, science and math education and common academic standards...
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has recruited some key aides from the charity, described the foundation as "one of many stakeholders really interested in seeing things get better. I appreciate their commitment and stick-to-itiveness. They're in this for the long haul."
So the Gates foundation is one of the key stakeholders; but where are public school parents? Nowhere to be found.
The Wapost reporter goes into length about the new Gates-supported teacher eval system in Hillsborough:
Every year, teachers here will be evaluated on a formula based on student achievement gains (40 percent), principal observation (30 percent) and peer observation (30 percent). By 2013, a four-tier pay scale will take effect that will reward high performers regardless of their academic degrees or years of experience -- a major break from precedent. Veteran teachers will be allowed to remain in the seniority-based pay scale or opt into the new one. New teachers will not have a choice and will be subject to more rigorous scrutiny before gaining tenure.
I predict the system will be totally unreliable; as based 40% on test score gains, (which fluctuate wildly from year to year, and are reliant on many factors out of the teachers' control. ) Only 30% will be based on peer evaluation, by full time teacher"evaluators" expert in using "data", and none on the views of parents and/or students, who obviously don't count in these people's minds.
And as all merit pay schemes have shown so far, it will be an awful waste of money and probably wreck morale as 20 year veterans will see their incomes slide up and down.
Also see this, not from this piece but another; http://www.tampabay
"Hillsborough officials told the foundation they expected to fire at least 5 percent of the district's 8,500 tenured teachers each year for low performance, once a new evaluation system is established. ....With more precise evaluations, they predicted rating at least 15 percent of all teachers as "performing well below expectations" and in need of further support or dismissal."
If I were a veteran teacher in Hillsborough, I would take to the hills, now!