Chancellor Jim Leibman Announces New Pay-for-Performance Teacher Remuneration Plan
Newly appointed Chancellor Leibman, former DOE Accountability head, has announced that 100 top performing teachers whose students showed the greatest “average pupil growth” over a three year period will be rewarded with $25,000 bonuses.
In the upcoming teacher contract negotiations Leibman and the Mayor will only support raises that are tied to pupil achievement as measured by the Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS).
Is the purpose of the $80 million Achievement and Reporting System (ARIS) to create a tool to drive instruction and inform parents, or create a tool to create a pay for performance plan?
There is no question that Klein is a strong supporter of merit pay and the DOE and Union would be in the throes of a bitter conflict if t wasn’t for the intervention of the Mayor. In the fall the Mayor and the Union, without the participation of the Chancellor, agreed on a new contract, with substantial raises and no discussion of merit pay.
As the level of conflict between the Chancellor and the Union was bubbling, over Weighted Student Funding and tenure the Mayor, once again, interceded, and, reached a detente, a clear victory for the Union and a defeat for the Chancellor.
While merit pay and Weight Student Funding (called Fair Student Funding by the DOE) are “off the table” they are not forgotten.
School districts around the country have dabbled in merit pay schemes. In Denver a plan called Procomp was negotiated with the teacher union – it is actually a plan that is voluntary and pays teachers for achieving career goals. The Houston merit plan has fumbled badly and is stumbling. The Economist takes a look at merit pay plans and warns that there is little research supporting the underlying concept.
Both Klein and the ideologues of the right see public schools as a heavily unionized monopoly and their solution: the marketplace … charter schools, merit pay, abolition of teacher tenure and the destruction of teacher unions.
Of course the most successful school systems in the world are public school systems with strong teacher unions: France, the Netherlands, Korea and Japan, but, who cares? Ideology always trumps the truth!