New charter school data from Massachusetts shows that six in ten urban charter schools there outpaced comparable schools in their communities. Results statewide were more mixed. Again this looks like an issue of authorizing and quality rather than a blight on the charter idea itself. As Checker Finn told the Globe,
“To hang a sign of ‘charter’ out is a guarantee of nothing in particular when it comes to educational performance”
That’s about right. The charter community has to be as relentless about quality as about supporting charter schools.
UFT president Randi Weingarten has proposed a step toward differential pay in Gotham. She wants across the board raises for all teachers but also extra differentials for teachers working in the 200 lowest performing schools in the city. Amazingly, such common sense differential pay schemes are still derided as plots to undermine teachers’ unions in many circles. Though there is still more rhetoric than action in terms of modernizing how teachers are paid, there are hopeful signs of progress.
Afterthought: Yes, you read this item right, salaries that are responsive to market conditions are still considered a radical idea in education. It’s just too early in the week to be cynical about it!