Powered by WebAds

Friday, October 19, 2007

Merit Pay for NYC Teachers

This is a welcome development:
The nation's largest school system and its teachers union have agreed on a form of merit pay, which links teacher compensation to student achievement.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers president, Randi Weingarten, agreed to a $20 million-a-year merit pay program at 200 of the city's highest-need schools.

The bonuses will be linked to school-wide gains measured by the city's new progress report system, not to individual student or classroom performance. The criteria for winning the extra funds are still being determined.

To me this is a no-brainer. It's all well and good to pay teachers solely based on seniority or degrees and not based on their hard work, but how is that in the best interests of our kids - or in the best interests of our hardest working teachers? It seems to me that giving teachers raises based only on how many years they have been doing the same exact job with no incentives whatsoever to increase their students' performance will only increase complacency, not productivity. It's good to see that Mayor Bloomberg has pushed this agenda, and that he has gotten the United Federation of Teachers - who have long been opposed to merit pay - to actually agree to it. I would hope to see some sort of similar incentive plan floated in our troubled school district.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you're such a strong supporter of the teachers unions.

The article really said:

"Pots of money would not be distributed teacher-by-teacher but are to be given to schools that have school wide gains in student test scores."

“I think this is a concept that promotes collaboration on a school level,” Ms. Weingarten said. In fact, Ms. Weingarten said, “This shuts the door on the individual merit pay plans that I abhor.”

"The agreement also gave the union something it had long sought: city backing for senior teachers to retire with full pension benefits, five years earlier than they can now."


Your generosity in proposing pay hikes and early retirement for our teachers is heart warmng.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Steinbrenner incentives:
$5 million dollars a year plus $3 million in incentives!

Teachers would take that.

8:18 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


The article really said:
??

Um, why would you think that offering a generous pension increase in addition to this incentive program to the teachers in any way takes away from the fact that this is a huge step for proponents of merit pay? The fact that the UFT has agreed to tie any incentives at all to student performance is huge.

That Ms. Weingarten states that this is not an individual merit pay program just reflects the fact that schools with big performance gains get the right to choose which individual teachers in their school to distribute the incentives to. That aspect does not change the point that this program is rewarding performance with incentives, it just gives the school administrations themselves the right to assess which teachers have worked the hardest toward the goal of raising scores.

Also, hard to ignore the fact that regardless of the fact that this absolutely is a merit pay program, Ms. Weingarten almost certainly feels the need to gussy it up by denying it is one - considering her union's longtime opposition to any performance-based incentives. As a matter of fact, there are apparently many among her union who are decrying her as a Judas for her agreement to this program.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do teachers in the private schools receive merit pay or an incentive based upon children's performance? if so, what are the benchmarks used?

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've taught public school, private secular school and yeshivot. The private secular schools pay a decent salary and benefits. They hire you expecting you to perform up to their standards. You don't get "merit" pay for doing the job you were hired to do. Consistently produce students "above their norm" and you get a regular raise. Consistently have students performing below the norm and you get your termination notice.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 9:34 - my question was not answered. what happens in the private school sector?

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that NYC has now (or will be) implementing a “Merit Pay” system does not deject from the fact that the Majority Private School population have made statements to the effect that teachers PAY should be reflective of their success or failure. I am sure if I chose to search through all of the comments I could find the exact quotes needed to bolster my statement but I don’t really feel like wasting my time. I seriously doubt that anyone in this community would have a problem with the type of program in NYC being implemented here, however attempting to lower a base salary due to poor performance would never be accepted and is certainly not what the NYC play entails.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

anonymous 12:20

Every private sector school sets its own benchmarks and standards. There is no "one" standard that they all have to meet, unlike the benchmarks in the public school system. School "A" may monitor the standards at school "B" if they are in competition for the same pool of students, but there is no requirement to do so.

When students in the school don't meet these standards a few things are looked at. Is this a problem with a particular student? Can the student handle the level of work we require in the manner which we require? Are there many students not meeting the standards? Are they all from one class? Then the teacher is looked at. Is it something he/she is doing or not doing that is causing a problem for the students? Is this a "minor annoyance" that can be fixed by speaking with the teacher or is this a major flaw in the teacher?

There is no "incentive" pay or "merit" pay since the private schools assume all teachers will be teaching the students in such a way that they will meet the school's standards. It's why they were hired.

There are no "carrots" only "sticks." If a private school feels that you are not capable of getting the vast majority of their students to meet the standards they have set, you are going, going, gone.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who think merit pay has to do with Salary, review the mayors huge raise for the teachers this year. Merit pay is try to get teachers into economically deprived areas. Bloomberg is offering money just to walk through the door, and every teacher that raises the tests scores gets more. I am sure the lawrence teachers, besides their actual contract would agree to this. They did not get a raise the first year and none this year.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 1:59

This idea is not new to Bloomberg. Over 40 years ago there were what were called "200" schools--schools in "difficult" areas--teachers who would agree to teach in them got $200 more in salary then the standard contract. A short while later these became "400" schools. You get the idea. Even with incentive money it's hard going for schools to get teachers for the "tough" areas and to keep them. Teacher turnover is tremendous. Money may get some in the door but it won't keep them there. When you are a brand new teacher, inexperienced, why would you want to put yourself into a school where you know from the start that you will be blamed for what is a Board of Ed and student problem?

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also a new Arabic school that the city started. Sounds like the NYC public schools are starting to move in a new dirction - wht can't the 5T do that.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, there's the difference. private schools set their own benchmarks, while public schools answer to a "higher authority" if you will. public school teachers are also licensed and certified by the state and must teach within their certified area. apparently not necessarily so in all private schools. private schools in nys are not required to give the same standardized tests as the public schools. are private schools bound by the "no child left behind" initiatives? one major difference though, is that a public school cannot expel a student solely based on academic performance as private schools seem to be allowed to. it would be interesting to see what would happen to some of the private schools if their student population was evaluated using the same rubric as the public schools.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a NYC public school teacher I noticed that you omitted the fact that there will be committees within the schools (including the principal and those chosen by her/him) to decide which teachers will receive the "bonus." This is not school wide merit pay if the committee decides only to give the bonuses to the teachers who teach "testing" grades (3,4,5). The work the primary grade teachers do directly impacts testing outcomes in later years.

Additionally, as an earlier commenter posted, this bonus system is only available to the bottom 200 schools in the entire city. These schools will not retain their teachers even with the bonus pay. Even in schools that are not in the bottom 200 (mine is not) there are many obstacles such as difficult administration and student discipline issues that scare off many teachers. I can hardly imagine what (attempting) to teaching in one of those schools must be like.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOT individual merit bonuses (individual teachers), but a group (school) instead.

There is a BIG DIFFERENCE. Don't put a spin on the article.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

orthomom said...


"The article really said:??

Um, why would you think that offering a generous pension increase in addition to this incentive program to the teachers in any way takes away from the fact that this is a huge step for proponents of merit pay? The fact that the UFT has agreed to tie any incentives at all to student performance is huge."

You do understand that a merit pay system is a system of rewards or bonuses, not a method of linking pay to performance, don't you? So I assume that we can put you on the record as saying that to improve schools you must spend MORE money ?


A merit pay system is inherently unfair to teachers because of one thing that will never change. Stupid kids. I know it's not PC but it's the truth. Teachers would be fighting over the students like kids picking sides in a dodge ball game to get the smartest kids in their classes. Teaching is a team effort.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it would be interesting to see what would happen to some of the private schools if their student population was evaluated using the same rubric as the public schools."

Depends on the private school. If you are including yeshivot in general under the private school category, then no, a lot of them would not do as well using the same evaluative rubric. Some, of course, would far exceed the rubric, but those are the yeshivot we generally refer to as being "left of center." Think Ramaz and Yeshiva of Flatbush. The "Bais Yaakov" type of female schools and their male equivalents would not fare as well.

If you include all types of religious schools under the private
school category then yes, some would not do as well, but for the most part they would equal or surpass the public school evaluations. The Catholic school system is "test sensitive" and would come out on the high end of any evaluation, some exceptions noted.

If you are referring to secular private schools, the vast majority would do better. The secular private schools who can't do better then the public schools would see themselves with few customers for what they are offering. "Higher standards" and "better educational outcomes" are what they are selling.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the last test scores published for private schools showed secular and religous not doing as well as the public schools. Many of the catholic schools follow Ny state guidlines so they get more state aide. The two private schools were also modern (halb and Haftr)

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a public school parent I disagree with the thought.So much corruption in Pubic Schools is going on allover and it has for the last 2 or 3 years really began to surface in the news and papers. Its sounds like Teachers can alter Test scores or decide on grading to benefit their pockets. There is still a HUGE responsibility of the Household to replay, strengthen and challenge the 45 minute classes they have during the day. The teachers job is done for the day after that child leaves each classroom study...To really retain what they read and wrote during class should be reinforced at home in the evenings; not make it easier by the teachers by making exams easier or less in number per semester. MONEY should NOT be a reason for a child to learn more. Most teachers are not making incredible salaries....they knew this once they decided to become a teacher...they chose the profession for themselves because it is self rewarding watching any child succeed from your teachings...

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, we didnt get into teaching for the money we did it for the smile on a face of a child after he realizes he has learned and understood something new....:)

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM:

With all of the serious issues going on in the community, including issues of children using alochol, why are u focusing on narishkeit??

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure OM has posted on youth and alcohol numerous times. I suggest you do a search of her site if you need the fix.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

OM:

With all of the serious issues going on in the community, including issues of children using alochol, why are u focusing on narishkeit??

10:35 PM

If you're worried about kids abusing alcohol, as well you should be, I would think education would be of interest. What could be more serious?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:05

You posted: "Actually the last test scores published for private schools showed secular and religous not doing as well as the public schools. Many of the catholic schools follow Ny state guidlines so they get more state aide. The two private schools were also modern (halb and Haftr)"

This may be a phenomenon particular to the five towns. In my part of NYC the private schools, both secular and religious, posted scores equal to and far above the public schools, and our public school system is highly rated for the most part.

There is also this. What makes us think that the state benchmarks and the emphasis on standardized testing is what we should be looking to as a "hallmark of excellence"?

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:01, thou missitgh my point, OM is focusing on Narishkeit, while the community is burning.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure what you mean when you say our community is burning, but I can say that I have heard reports that alcohol use among our youth is down compared to recent years. Om has posted in the past when things were out of control

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

11:01, thou missitgh my point, OM is focusing on Narishkeit, while the community is burning.

2:39 PM

Whoops! Missed indeed.

Are you saying we're rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic here...? ;-)

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am saying at a time when children are drinking, parents have been arrested for serving alochol, how come we are focusing on merit pay of NYC teachers??

It that is chairs on the Titanic, so be it.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You presume this is common knowledge. I don't know anything about parents being arrested for serving alcohol to minors in the neighborhood and I am pretty well connected in the neighborhood.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous ORTHO WHAT? said...

Whats the difference between a Jew and a canoe?

A canoe is made of wood, what did you think i was gonna say?

10:11 PM  
Anonymous ORTHO WHAT? said...

OK now for a serious comment, GO CAPITALISM, increasing pay for good teachers is obviously a good idea, but it doesn't work.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

What actually might work and has shown to be somewhat successful are initiatives to bring teachers into the field from other fields with incentives to stay for varying lengths of time. What is needed is less testing, less of the Onus placed on teachers to raise test scores, and more outreach and incentives to new teachers, a reinvention of the system to suit the needs of the student population of the new millenium many of whom in inner-city schools are the children of immigrants whose parents work full-time and who are increasingly dependent on technology to learn. Check out the following link on "teacher tube:"

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=40c570a322f1b0b65909&page=1&viewtype=&category=tf

Technology must be managed well and used effectively, but in the end the questions are:
Who is teaching our kids? How? Are they plugging in?

Because we teachers know that in this day and age the only thing we can control is what goes on in our classroom. And everything else is more often than not just dragging us down, including today's parents.
Merit pay by school=test scores=missing the point again.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Merit pay by school=test scores=missing the point again.


See, in a system like this, where bonuses are given for test scores, i don't see your objection. Sucess has to have some measurement even if it is an imperfect one.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

The measure of our success will be a decrease in the high school drop out rate, an increase in the percentage of those that go on to college and a revamping and scaling back of the current testing system in elementary schools. And this is a biggie: independent evaluations of SCHOOLS in a series of categories, the results of which will be publicized, and the institution of the foreign concept of CHOICE within the public school system. SCHOOLS will be rated.
You see, just as medicine and accounting has its own culture--actual class of sociologists who study just the field of medicine--so does teaching. Teachers know that the current system of test scores as indicators of success and how this system is being used is dirty and does not even accomplish its goals. We know the truth. Use incentives to get in a variety of trained teachers from many fields--including those who graduated with a degree in Education, revamp the bureaucracies, encourage proper use of technology to teach, publically rate the schools on use of technology, phys ed programs, mentoring initiatives, etc. and finally!!!! give parents choice!!! You'll be surprised how much low-income, inner-city parents, among them many non-English speakers, will advocate for their child to attend a "better" school when given the chance. This happened in NYC in the 90's. Market economy. Teachers better suited for current times, better school culture.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

BTW, within the Yeshiva system, I am surprisingly not a big advocate of higher pay. I know that some Yeshiva teachers do not get paid enough and do not get good health care plans, but I think the biggie is better teacher training including in the Limudei Kodesh department and more networking among the schools as to what is working. Better use of technology again. Biggie. In the MO schools, technology is used, but not always effectively. Innovative workshops, more networking. More programs initiatives to college age MO students to go into education in both secular and Limudei Kodesh.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a retired NYC teacher, I'm concerned about teaching to the test, doctoring test scores, and increased friction between colleagues. School politics may well dictate who gets the merit pay, if history is to be a guide, with attendant jealousy..

5:48 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Anon 5:48, That's the truth that those who aren't in this line of work do not understand. Good luck to the kids of NYC.

6:42 PM  
Blogger heshys said...

"Actually the last test scores published for private schools showed secular and religous not doing as well as the public schools. Many of the catholic schools follow Ny state guidlines so they get more state aide. The two private schools were also modern (halb and Haftr)"

Where can I access these results?

4:41 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
ugg boots, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, chanel handbags, longchamp, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada handbags, nike air max, louboutin shoes, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, burberry, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, gucci outlet, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, nike air max, louboutin, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, longchamp outlet

10:43 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

vans pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, timberland, true religion jeans, oakley pas cher, air force, hermes, tn pas cher, coach purses, true religion jeans, nike air max, vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, nike free run uk, michael kors, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, ray ban uk, sac guess, nike blazer, north face, hogan, michael kors, sac longchamp, ralph lauren uk, burberry, air max, lacoste pas cher, replica handbags, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, hollister pas cher, true religion jeans, new balance pas cher, north face, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, kate spade outlet, hollister, converse pas cher, mulberry, nike air max, nike free, michael kors, air jordan pas cher, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, lululemon, kate spade handbags, coach outlet

10:45 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike roshe, oakley, insanity workout, new balance, iphone 6 cases, nike trainers, p90x workout, reebok shoes, hollister, north face outlet, ipad cases, bottega veneta, ghd, iphone 5s cases, babyliss, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6s cases, herve leger, longchamp, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo shoes, lululemon, iphone cases, timberland boots, vans shoes, soccer shoes, ralph lauren, iphone 6s plus cases, valentino shoes, nike roshe, hollister, nike air max, birkin bag, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, giuseppe zanotti, celine handbags, north face outlet, hollister, instyler, chi flat iron, s5 cases, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, louboutin, beats by dre, mont blanc, baseball bats, wedding dresses, asics running shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, nike huarache

10:46 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

toms shoes, louis vuitton, moncler, moncler, canada goose, vans, barbour jackets, sac louis vuitton pas cher, supra shoes, moncler, canada goose, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, moncler, links of london, ray ban, converse, barbour, coach outlet, montre pas cher, canada goose, converse outlet, bottes ugg, marc jacobs, wedding dresses, moncler, ugg boots uk, karen millen, lancel, canada goose, doudoune canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, hollister, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, pandora jewelry, replica watches, thomas sabo, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, moncler outlet, gucci, swarovski, moncler, moncler, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton
ninest123 16.03

10:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home