4 Replies to “As Goes Seattle?”

  1. does anyone know where to find the 2007 Miller/McKeon ESEA (NCLB) Discussion Draft? THANK YOU!

  2. The only way merit pay will be introduced is through public initiative. The union is designed to protect its members and demand quality compensation – undoubtedly increasing teacher quality – therefore it makes no sense to expect them to make their longest standing members most vulnerable. If the public demands merit pay and abolition of tenure, the union will not be able to stop it. The good teachers will stay, the irresponsible ones will be exposed.

  3. The balanced story on Seattle included this quote “These kind of union contracts are the past, not our future.”

    Of course, that is correct. We need to negotiate better contracts for the future.

    Current law is current law. Suggest that Microsoft’s competitors don’t need to abide by existing contracts, and see how the Lattes boil over.

    By the way, the article on Seattle critics didn’t included anything as irresponsible as Mark’s comment. No self-respecting teacher would work for a system based on his prejudices.

  4. Writes the articles author….

    “I don’t have some magic solution for how to do school layoffs. Neither do the petition organizers.”

    And herein lies the problem of seniority-based firing: nobody wants to put forth a better idea. Why? Because that would mean taking a position that someone might not like. In other words, we don’t walk our chalk in this country; we’re still far too timid to actually reform education in any meaningful way.

    Here’s my plan: I call it 10-80-10. Building principals would determine, using only their best judgment, the bottom 10% of teachers in their buildings, and those teachers would be fired. The middle 80% would be expected to improve by 10%, and the top 10% would be allowed not to follow state standards so that we could study the quality and innovation in their teaching. I believe this is suspiciously similar to how people are fired and promoted in the real world – by their bosses according to good old-fashioned human judgment. This process would continue every single year, year after year, until it was determined by the principal’s boss that an entire staff had reached a level consistent with that person’s expectations for teacher quality. And then that school would hire and fire just like we do it in the real world.

    We’ve got to get human beings into human resources in education. And we’ve got get unions, standards, merit pay bonuses, and career ladders out. Education is the only industry of which I am aware where millions of employees owe no direct accountability to a “manager” directly above them. (And where almost none of these managers will direct those below them to do much of anything.) We already have a solution for hiring and firing teachers. It’s called the real world of work. We’ve all been there. We all know the rules. We all know how to play and how to win.

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