“It’s bold. The teachers are really—if they vote [yes] on this—they’re showing a lot of courage. And they’re the heroes. I just brought it to a point. The rest is up to them”
That’s Newark Teacher Union President Joseph Del Grosso on a new proposed contract between the union and the Newark Public Schools that, according to today’s Wall Street Journal, “would overhaul teacher pay, introducing lucrative merit bonuses and giving teachers a role in grading each other.” The new contract language would also give teachers a role in evaluating each other, currently verboten.
NJ’s much larger union, NJEA, does not support this proposal.
If Newark’s teachers vote “yes” today, the costs of merit pay would be covered by a combination of Mark Zuckerberg’s donation and the rescinding of current contract language that gives teachers lifetime annual salary bumps for earning advanced degrees. Teachers could choose the option of going with the new system or staying with the old system.
The new arrangement, which sounds a lot like Michelle Rhee’s proposal in D.C., adheres to research that shows that advanced degrees don’t increase teacher effectiveness. (Teachers would, however, receive a one-time bonus of $20,000 for earning for those degrees.)
Details from the Journal:
Under the contract, teachers could receive up to a $12,500 annual bonus for qualifications such as working in a school that has traditionally struggled to attract good teachers; teaching understaffed subjects; and scoring “highly effective” on their annual evaluations.
The complex system allows teachers to stack bonuses.
Meanwhile, teachers who don’t make the grade could lose a pay bump based on years of experience that traditionally has been seen as automatic. They will, however, have the chance to get some of that back if they improve, Mr. Del Grosso said.