Tag Archives: improvement

Brad Jupp the Latest Reformer Off to D.C.: Who Will Fill His Shoes?

Education Week‘s political blogger Alyson Klein wrote yesterday about another one of Denver’s education reform leaders being exported to the nation’s capital: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a new teacher quality adviser … and he’s got a foot in both the merit pay and union camps. Brad Jupp is formerly a senior policy adviser to Denver-schools-superintendent-turned-U.S.-Senator Michael Bennet. In that role, he worked on school and district performance improvement and accountability, teacher effectiveness, and school choice, among other issues. After being on the short list for the job Duncan now holds, DPS superintendent Michael Bennet was appointed U.S. Senator. More recently, state senate president Peter Groff was appointed to direct an office in the U.S. Department of Education. Now Jupp joins Groff in the Department in the special role of teacher quality adviser. I would be remiss not to observe that when it comes to Brad Jupp, Denver’s loss is D.C.’s gain. He has a tough job cut out for him — that’s usually the case when it comes to effecting change in the Beltway bureaucracy. But he brings a rare combination of professional experiences coupled with a keen mind, determination, and a track record of some success. One […]

Read More...

Teacher Pay & Tenure System Like Pounding Square Peg into Round Hole

Have you ever tried to pound a square peg into a round hole (or vice versa)? How about after that doesn’t work a couple times, you go out and buy 100 of the same square pegs to keep trying what already failed? It makes about as much sense as most systems we have today for training, developing, paying, and retaining teachers. Sure, we’ve seen some progress with performance pay programs — Colorado has produced some leading examples — but the old-fashioned salary schedule still persists. Pay teachers based on seniority and academic credentials. Never mind, as the Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer observes from Urban Institute education director Jane Hannaway (with supporting evidence compiled here), that teachers overwhelmingly improve during the first four years of their career and then just stop: “It’s one of our very consistent findings,” said Hannaway, presenter last week at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Diego, citing at least two recent studies of teacher effectiveness. “The reason of course is not clear, but it’s in study after study,” she said. “Teachers do get better (in the beginning). If you look at the same teacher at Year One, they look a lot better at […]

Read More...

Do You Really Think All That "Stimulus" Money Will Go to Help Kids Like Me?

I’m only 5 (almost 6) years old, but I’m no dummy. The reason we all ought to be skeptical of the “it’s for the children” line is the political realities of how the money is spent. In his Pajamas Media column, Greg Forster unravels the uncritical support of our new President’s grand plans to throw billions of dollars at schools as part of a so-called “stimulus” package: I suspect that pretty much nobody in Congress really believes the Keynesian theory. There are two real motivations behind all stimulus bills. First, it creates an opportunity for politicians to claim credit for any good economic news that subsequently comes along. Second, it’s an excuse to shovel money at powerful constituencies, from whom you can later demand reciprocal support. It’s the latter reason that will determine how the new school spending in the stimulus bill will be spent. The money won’t go where it’s needed. It will go to the gravy train.

Read More...

Eagle County Experience with Teacher Pay Reform Should Embolden Others

Reforming how teachers are paid to better match the goals that benefit students in our education system is a tricky business. On one hand you have some people who oversimplify the issue of “merit pay” and think that it should be quite easy to implement a new system that has a positive impact on student achievement. (Of course, there is a significant grain of truth in what they advocate, as an analysis of a pilot program in Little Rock has shown.) On the other hand, you have entrenched opposition within elements of the education establishment who find it too hard to overcome the inertia that keeps the lockstep salary schedule in place. Paying teachers strictly for years of service and degrees is inefficient and ineffective, but a variety of obstacles are readily summoned to trip up any momentum toward compensation reform. That’s why it’s great news to read about a Colorado school district like Eagle County that at least has been working outside the box for the past six years to re-design teacher pay. Most noteworthy is that their system not only includes significant rewards for boosting student test scores, but also that it’s showing broader support among district teachers. […]

Read More...