Chancellor Jim Leibman Announces New Pay-for-Performance Teacher Remuneration Plan

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.

Merit pay is the idea that won’t die: academics support and oppose  the idea.

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!

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2 responses to “Chancellor Jim Leibman Announces New Pay-for-Performance Teacher Remuneration Plan

  1. Ed has it right. There is an agenda at play here and individual merit pay is one part of it. Despite a great deal of empirical evidence that it doesn’t make any differenece in teaching, the market ideologues of the far right want to make competition the answer to every question.

    The other agenda is rotted in the “weighted student funding” budget. (Be very wary when Republicans have to rename things to make them palatable. “Fair Student Funding” is Orwellian “newspeak” for a well recognized budgeting process that has had mixed results in the venues where it has been tried. Since they can’t find empirical support for this proposal they rename it to make it sound necessary.)

    The weighted student funding formula masks an agenda to make vouchers easier to argue for and to increase funding to charter schools.

    Once Klein and his Tweedites have finished balkanizing and disrupting the system, vouchers and charters will seem the only way to move forward. That’s the real agenda in this new reorganization; destabilization to set up the argument that the system is too large and cumbersome for anyone to manage it so charters and vouchers are the only way to help students.

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  2. “Ed” has it only partly right

    “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.”
    because this part isn’t true, the UFT collaborated with the Chancellor on selling out its membership and the parents.

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