Thursday, September 13, 2007

More on Comps. from Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh of the NCTQ has a well written analysis on comparability out right now in this week's Gadfly. Kate waxes sympathetic to the teacher quality issue (it's in the name, dur) but recognizes that comparability isn't the fix. Making school districts reallocate teachers as a condition of receiving Title I money has its absurdities. The Title II stuff about Premium Pay is a better option for hard-to-staff schools. Now if Miller and McKeon could only let the districts and teachers decide for themselves, rather than applying the steam iron of the federal govt. we'd have something. Premium pay will go over well with a lot of teachers--put some trust in that Committee.

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Comparable? EdWeek Wants to Give It a Go

Reading Bess Keller's article in EdWeek, "Proposed NCLB Rule on 'Salary Comparability' Draws Scrutiny," I can't help notice that she seems to think that the monies for Title II comparability could be used for a myriad of activities other than teacher salaries. The draft is pretty clear that state and local monies will have to be used to get Title I and non Title I schools to within 2 percentage points of parity regarding average salaries. There is no evidence to back her claims up as far as I can tell. The section in question follows:

"The draft provision is explicit that involuntary transfers of teachers would not be required to even out what is spent per school. In fact, the money would get added at a low-spending school would not have to be spent on salaries at all.

Possible uses of such a windfall for a school might be beefing up professional development or lowering class sizes with an eye to making the school a better place to work, supporters of the idea said. Or the money might provide bonuses to teachers who came or stayed."

I thought for a hot second that Premium Pay in Title II draft might resolve her argument, but that money is federal money that supplements not supplants local and state monies. I’m not sure what her argument is actually. Equity in teacher pay is a condition of receiving Title I monies—sure that money doesn’t have to be spent on teacher salaries because the salaries would already be comparable.

With this new type of comparability, the type that ED Trust has thrown their back and butt into, we seem to be moving away from the issue of highly qualified teachers and into the realm of more senior teachers—these are not the same thing.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

TFA - What's it all About (the look my friend is famous edition)

Thanks to Michael Salmonowicz, an intensely passionate, hyper bright, and all around genuine guy, for getting me back on blogger for a post. He has a new article on EdWeek that deserves props. His insight on TFA is pointed and should help keep a lively debate about social justice and education alive and well. Go check him out here.

Thanks to J. Stroup for the heads-up on this good work.

Look for a future post on ESEA reauthorization. I've been digging in the trenches with ed labor folks... making stories to tell grandkids about--well maybe not that great, but it's a start.

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