Tag Archives: New York Times

Discuss the "Rock Star" Teacher Idea While I Take a Trip to the Beach

Next week I’ll be on vacation at the beach, and blogging won’t be high on my priority list. But before taking off, I want to leave you with a glimpse into a school model based on the “rock star” teacher idea. This doesn’t mean bringing in real-life rock stars to teach. To my mom and dad, that probably would be some guy named Bon Jovi. To my gramps, maybe some ancient dude named Elvis I’ve heard him talk about. But they’d all be wrong. In a nutshell, the idea is to free up funds to pay the best teachers more by allowing for larger class sizes. The question is: Will it work? Over at Jay Greene’s blog, Dr. Matt Ladner has written about the “rock star” teacher idea several times. The latest highlights a New York Times story about a Washington Heights school scheduled to open in the fall that will pay its eight teachers each $125,000 a year, with a chance to earn more in performance incentives.


Unions Advancing in NYC Charter Schools Raise Compelling Questions

Update: In a column for the New York Post, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Marcus Winters explains in more detail the potential problem posed by unionizing charter schools. Yesterday brought a report in the New York Times that the teachers union – namely, the American Federation of Teachers – is seeking to organize two New York City KIPP charter schools. In the article, a friend of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center brought up the problem with that development: “A union contract is actually at odds with a charter school,” said Jeanne Allen, executive director of the Center for Education Reform, a Washington group that supports charter schools. “As long as you have nonessential rules that have more to do with job operations than with student achievement,” she said, “you are going to have a hard time with accomplishing your mission.” To elaborate on this point, and to look at the development in the broader context of charter schools and unions, syndicated columnist and former Colorado education commissioner William Moloney joined Ben DeGrow for a 10-minute iVoices podcast discussion: Meanwhile, the Eduwonk tries to take a more “middle-of-the-road” approach in dealing with the conundrum of charter schools and unionization (H/T Alan […]


Public Education Really Needs to Focus More on Helping Boys, Too

Some people just don’t want to believe that more boys than girls have a hard time in our education system. The really smart Jay Greene points out the problems with such a new report: The American Association of University Women released a report this week attempting to debunk concerns that have been raised about educational outcomes for boys. The AAUW report received significant press coverage, including articles in the WSJ and NYT. But the AAUW report simply debunks a strawman — er, I mean — strawperson…. Jay Greene goes on to explain how the AAUW report ignores the problem that boys are under-performing in our schools. Joanne Jacobs says the report is missing a big part of the point, too, and concludes: “Focusing more on the learning needs of boys isn’t necessarily bad for girls.” I still think girls are yucky, but Ms. Jacobs has a point. The authors of the AAUW report should have read what Independence Institute senior fellow Krista Kafer had to say last year for the Independent Women’s Forum. I agree with Krista: Parents know what’s best for their boys and their girls, and should be given more school choice to meet the unique needs of […]