More Golden State

This Friday Eduwonk’s California Dreamin’… a prophet on the burning shore?

In addition to the outrageous Battle of Hastings, two other happenings:

1) Governor Schwarzenegger’s State of the State address. He’s proposing some sort of merit-based pay scheme for teachers. Note this line:

“My colleagues, this is going to be a big political fight. And you all know it. This is a battle of the special interests versus the children’s interests. Which will you choose?”

Uh oh. He probably knows the answer to that and secretly likes it…Let’s hope Democrats there rise to the occasion and put forward their own ideas. Otherwise, this looks like it will be an effective smokescreen for the K-12 budget cuts he’s apparently also going to propose.

Two pro-Governator quotes to note via the Teaching Commission who are big-time in love with the man once known as Hercules of New York:

“The time is long overdue to put in place a more professional pay system for California teachers,” said Hailly Korman, a kindergarten teacher at 122nd Street Elementary School in Los Angeles. “As a teacher of young children I have daily reminders that standardized tests, just like any other single assessment measure, are not when considered alone an accurate or appropriate measure of student achievement. That said, I welcome changes to our current salary system that are based on merit and I am ready to be assessed and paid accordingly.”

“We need to develop a better compensation system that recognizes the awesome responsibilities we place in the hands of teachers every day,” said Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District and a member of The Teaching Commission. “First of all, we need to pay all teachers more, beginning with entry-level salaries. But we also need a system that adequately and fairly rewards those who work the hardest, perform the best, or whose skills are in greatest need. Although all their jobs are challenging, not all teachers possess the same skills or work in equally difficult roles. As in medicine or other professions, those who teach in the most difficult schools, perform the most specialized functions, and get the best results should be rewarded accordingly.”

2) Good LA Times editorial about Larry Rosentock’s teacher training program at High Tech High and the broader implications. Incidentally, the establishment fought Rosenstock every step of the way…He’s just another off-message Dem…no wait, he’s off message on two counts, he runs a charter school and he’s calling the question on traditional teacher prep programs…Yikes! This is a dangerous man!

“Of course, Rosenstock runs the risk that once the teachers trained at his school gain a free credential, they’ll go off to another school. That’s OK, he said. At least there will be one more good teacher out there.”

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