Sunday, April 30, 2006

$2,000 for this?

Watch out, Texas teachers. The Texas Legislature has you in their crosshairs. While a $2,000 across-the-board pay raise is bandied about (that would put Texas within $5,000 of the national average-- whoopee!), there could be a steep tradeoff:

Sen. Florence Shapiro, the Plano Republican who heads the Senate's education committee, said she plans to attach a proposal that increases accountability for Texas schools to her chamber's version of a tax overhaul.

One proposal — to reconstitute campuses deemed academically unacceptable two years in a row — is tougher than what the federal law requires. Under Shapiro's plan, a campus intervention team would decide which, if any, of the existing faculty could remain.

If the school has had the same principal for the past two years, that principal must go.

The school also could be subject to management from a private, nonprofit company or face being closed.

"How can you leave a school open that's failing our children?" Shapiro said. "If a school has been low-performing for at least two years, in my view, that's a bad school."

There it is. Privatization. Privatize everything. This is the answer to all of our nation's ills, to the drown-our-government-in-a-bathtub crowd. It's worked oh so well in so many other areas, right? Yeah, right.

And further, this is a great incentive for teachers to go to the hard-to-staff schools. Hey, go here, work your but off for two years and then you, too, can be unceremoniously fired!

This is clearly the stuff of genius.


Blogger A Change Activist said...

Gee -- 2 years? ...When all of the research says that REAL improvement takes at least 3 to 5 years... nice.

The only thing that can be done in two years are "blips" in test scores generated by "drill & kill" instructional practices -- and that's if you are lucky enough to be at an elementary to middle level school.

These people infuriate me.

8:56 PM  
Blogger christophereliz said...

I completely agree. There are organizations I have been learning about recently like the Charter School Policy Institute ( who are looking at this issue specifically with an eye toward their impact on charter schools. In talking with someone over there recently, it came to my attention that there aren't going to be a whole lot of takers once these underperforming schools are shut down, private or otherwise. In Houston, apparently, HISD couldn't give away their three most underperforming high schools. Neither KIPP nor YES management organizations would take them on without access to their entire feeder programs. Seems like this is an issue the ledge should consider a bit further.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Raleigh said...

Education in the US is flawed! We assume that in the classroom everyone can achieve the same goals. Untile we relize that some people can't grasp concepts that others can we will always be lost in education in the US. Instead we lowering the bar across the subject area's in order for all students to have a chance of passing. Remember passing and learing are to different things. Instead of forcing students to learn Algerbra 2 when they can't pass Pre-Algerbra we need to teach them skills that they can use in life to help them succeed in life. Not all people need to go to college. Until we relize this in this country our system will stay broke it does not matter how much you pay teachers. It does not matter how big the classrooms are. It does not matter how much money you throw at the problem......

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Blogger independentvoter said...

Well we do need more accountability at schools. It might be better to test teachers by testing students when they start the class and when they finish it.

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