Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ward Room: Teachers Blast Merit Pay Proposal

Ward Room:
The Chicago Teachers Union blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to reward high-performing principals with merit pay, saying it could bring about the same kind of cheating that took place in Atlanta schools after principals were tempted with more money for higher test scores.

“The research is conclusive—merit pay does not work and can have troubling side effects—cheating, narrowing of curriculum and competition between teachers where collaboration is needed,” CTU President Karen GJ Lewis said. “Think Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles: student standardized test scores were never intended to be nor should they be used for any personnel decision.
“Independent studies, including in Chicago, show that teaching to the test does not improve student achievement. An investigation in Atlanta concluded that pressure to meet testing targets led to widespread cheating in 44 schools. Similar investigations are underway across the country. Chicago and our students deserve better.”

Here's more about Mayor Emanue's proposal for principal's merit pay:

In an effort to hold Chicago Public School officials more accountable, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday announced a $5 million fund to give principals "merit pay."

It's another checkmark on the mayor's list of ideas he campaigned on and aimed to introduce during his first 100 days in office.

Emanuel said four families, including the Pritzkers, and Chicago-based Groupon owners donated to the $5 million fund for the new program, called Chicago Leadership Collaborative.

Emanuel touted the program as the first in the country to recruit, train and support aspiring principals. He said CPS needs to increase the number of skilled, effective principals in order to transform underperforming schools.

"Between now and 2015 a major turnover is coming for our principals," Emanuel said. "No other system in the country ... [holds] principals accountable for what happens in the building."

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