Tag Archives: teacher teamwork

There's No Evidence that Merit Pay Negatively Affects Teacher Teamwork

Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews wrote a column earlier this week suggesting that “merit pay could ruin teacher teamwork” in Washington, DC. In response, Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform wrote an open letter saying that merit pay is in fact the key to building a culture of teamwork inside the district schools of our nation’s capital. But there’s more to throw into the pot of this little debate. Findings from a study of a merit pay pilot program (PDF) in Little Rock, Arkansas, further questions the conventional wisdom in Mathews’ piece: The data do not indicate that ACPP teachers experience divisive competition, suffer from a negative work environment, or shy away from working with low-performing students – despite the fact that these are three oft-cited potential problems inherent in merit pay plans. More research is needed, but it looks like there’s reason to believe that the old teachers union saw about merit pay being divisive isn’t necessarily true. More teamwork, higher quality instruction, and ultimately, students learning more: I have a hard time seeing what’s not to like about paying teachers for performance. Several Colorado school districts and charter schools are leading the way in this […]


A Glimpse at New Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy Central

In large part due to its remarkable success with its original Pueblo school, the Cesar Chavez School Network is expanding. 2008 brings the opening of Cesar Chavez Academy-North Central in Colorado Springs, open to students in kindergarten to 8th grade. The free public charter school is authorized by the state’s Charter School Institute. The original Cesar Chavez Academy (CCA) has forged an excellent reputation. Working with a high-minority and high-poverty student population, CCA has helped nearly all its students to reach proficiency in reading, putting it on a rare plateau. The school’s success in closing the achievement gap has earned the attention of the U.S. Department of Education and generated a substantial waiting list of families waiting to get in. The website for the new Colorado Springs school declares the focus of its mission up front: It is the primary goal of the school, through an integrated K-8 program to dramatically increase the number of students who exceed district and state averages on the CSAP assessment and who enter secondary education prepared to succeed in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. High expectations, equal learning opportunities, teacher teamwork, and parental involvement are all hallmarks of the CCA franchise. Like its predecessor, Cesar […]