Monday, August 26, 2013

Merit Pay-Plan Begins for Teachers in Newark

More good news in Newark (from today’s WSJ). It’s beyond me why EVERY school system doesn’t pay more to a) the best teachers; b) teachers willing to work in the toughest schools; and c) teachers in hard-to-staff subjects:

Newark, in a first for a large New Jersey public-school system, has given out bonuses of up to $12,500 to its highest-rated teachers, inaugurating a controversial merit-pay program being watched across the nation.

A group of 190 Newark teachers learned last week they would receive bonuses, paid for through the foundation started by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. About $1.4 million in bonuses were given out to teachers: $5,000 for being rated highly effective, another $5,000 for working at a poorly performing school and another $2,500 for teaching a hard-to-staff subject. Those included certain math, science and language subjects.

About 5% of the 3,200-member teaching force got the money, one of the more contentious parts of the contract approved in November by the Newark Teachers Union. Eleven teachers received the top bonus of $12,500.

"We believe that great teachers get much better outcomes for kids, and this type of system will help us recruit great teachers—and also retain them," Cami Anderson, Newark schools superintendent, said in an interview.

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