Tag Archives: inefficient

Hoping Not to See More of the Same from Boulder, Teachers Union

It doesn’t seem that long ago the school year was winding down, and up in Boulder many teachers were calling in sick as a form of protest: sort of a collective temper tantrum. Now students and parents in the district may wonder what’s coming next. As the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post have both reported, 94 percent of Boulder Valley Education Association members (or about 75 percent of all Boulder Valley teachers) have voted to reject a contract offer that included across-the-board 1 percent bonuses but no permanent pay raise. Hey, I might vote against it, too — but for different reasons, I can assure you.

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Barack Obama's "Stimulus" Plan Would Grow Union Jobs, Hinder School Reform

The big story in the news is about President-elect Obama’s giant “stimulus” plan – better known as a giant spending spree that hangs even more debt on the shoulders of me and other kids growing up around America. That part is bad enough. But three leading education reformers – Michael Petrilli, Checker Finn, and Frederick Hess – see other serious problems that it will create for trying to improve our schools and help students learn. In the column they wrote for National Review yesterday, the authors challenge the suggestion that tons of federal government money “invested” in education will yield more positive results down the road: In concept, of course, well-delivered education eventually yields higher economic output and fewer social ills. But there’s scant evidence that an extra dollar invested in today’s schools delivers an extra dollar in value — and ample evidence that this kind of bail-out will spare school administrators from making hard-but-overdue choices about how to make their enterprise more efficient and effective.

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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. […]

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