Tag Archives: rewards

Teachers as Entrepreneurs: A Refreshing Race to the Top Idea?

Knowing that teacher quality is so essential to successful student learning, Colorado’s lawmakers and education officials should be doing more to enact policies that promote teacher autonomy, excellence, and accountability. The Maryland Public Policy Institute does just that with its new report calling for “Teachers as Entrepreneurs” (PDF). The idea? Instead of placing all instructors under the terms of a centralized bargaining contract, allow for some individual teachers or teams of teachers to contract with a school district to perform instructional services. Either union or non-union, they could agree on setting terms regarding class size, basic working conditions, performance and differential pay, and retirement plans. This approach would give individual teachers greater freedom to determine whether they want to support and subsidize political activities. It would require state law to take a neutral position on the issue of unionization and exclusive representation.

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New Denver KIPP School Performance Pay Plan Latest Charter Innovation

With a variety of programs and greater flexibility from state laws and district policies, public charter schools can provide a great alternative for parents and students looking for something different. Because of that same flexibility, charter schools can serve as great laboratories of innovation for different practices that work. A couple months ago, while school was still in session, my Education Policy Center friends visited KIPP-Sunshine Peak Academy, a charter middle school located in west Denver. The national KIPP network of 82 charter schools has been made famous recently by the book Work Hard Be Nice, written by Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews.

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What Teachers Say Attracts Them to Work in Tougher School Environments

What does it take to attract teachers to serve in the more challenging school environments? Part of Denver’s ProComp program rewards teachers who work at hard-to-serve schools with a $2,345 bonus this year. While the extra money definitely plays a part in providing incentives to some, there are other factors that help attract teachers to challenging environments they might not otherwise choose. As Ed News Colorado reports about a new study: Augenblick, Palaich and Associates surveyed teachers and principals at 16 relatively high-performing public schools – some charters, some district schools – in six cities coast-to-coast. The study, undertaken in collaboration with district and union leaders from Aurora, Denver and Jefferson County public schools, was funded by Denver’s Rose Community Foundation. The study participants were overwhelmingly from elementary schools, so people reviewing results should keep that in mind, researchers stressed. Dale DeCesare, one of the study’s authors, said he was surprised by the emphasis teachers placed on the effective use of technology. Overall, availability of technology ranked as the third most important factor in creating positive working conditions. As someone surfing the Internet and reading an education blog, you must have some appreciation for the value of technology. The article […]

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