More New York Pay Pals

There is a lot more on the deal in New York out there now. First day and second day stories in The Times and the NY Sun saying that this means big change. And there is even a lively exchange in the brand-spanking-new Eduwonk comments section from my brief post the other day.

See also the UFT’s site for their take and more information on the pension settlement that was part of this deal and hasn’t received as much attention even though that has been a big issue. In fact, some people thought that the pension settlement would be the grease for the charter cap lift earlier this year in New York. Edwize is all about all this, too.

Over at his place Mike Antonucci dissents from the zeitgeist and points to this article to say the performance-pay wave has already broken…NYC Educator is bummed, too, but for other reasons, he doesn’t surf.

But again, change doesn’t happen overnight, but the fact that this is happening in New York is pretty signal and we’ll learn from it. That’s for the good, the current approaches don’t work well and some innovation is long overdue. In other words it’s progress. That’s the root word of progressive, by the way.

My own take is that you can’t pay people enough to work in crappy schools but that money is one tool in the toolbox, along with good leadership, clear expectations, and real support to create the kind of environment that talented people want to be in and will thrive in. And recognizing and rewarding achievement is a smart thing for any profession to do. But, as I’ve written in the past, for this to be effective it has to be something done for teachers rather than to teachers. This plan tries to do that.

2 Replies to “More New York Pay Pals”

  1. I disagree this shows Ms. Weingarten can take risks and lead.
    I think it shows she wants to further polish her image as a “reform-minded union leader” to advance her own star, period. Look for her to head the AFT, or, if Hillary wins, Secretary of Education.

    Rod Paige, who called the NEA a “terrorist organization,” (after having falsified the “Texas Miracle”) doesn’t admire her for making teachers’ lives and jobs better. Ms. Weingarten isn’t overly concerned about rank and file, who had no say in this whatsoever. Fortunately for her, 3 out of 4 teachers can’t even be bothered to vote in union elections. Most are transitory passers-by–and that doesn’t help kids.

    I agree that this signals a movement, a bad one in my view, and it reinforces my long-held notion that the UFT has no vision whatsoever. Klein got his foot in the door with the lead teacher position in 05, pushed it a lot more here, and has plans for the future, unlike my clueless leadership.

    So if you like merit pay, it’s definitely time to celebrate. You’re right—this is big.

    But the UFT will continue to say it isn’t merit pay, even though it can certainly be distributed to individual teachers.

    Incidentally, I did not write the piece that went up this morning. That was reality-based educator, my co-conspirator.

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