Wednesday, October 17

BREAKING NEWS: Mayor announces new merit pay plan for teachers

The mayor has just announced a massive merit pay plan for the city's teachers. About 200 schools this year will be eligible for awards of up to $3,000 per teacher, with responsibility for distribution falling to school-based committees.

Corporate-minded education reformers have been promoting the idea of merit pay for teachers for years, but it hasn't gained too much traction because of opposition by teachers unions. Joel Klein hadn't been able to get a program in place here until now because of the UFT's opposition, but UFT president Randi Weingarten stood with the mayor at his press conference today, so I guess the issue has been hammered out.

All that's clear at this point is that New York City truly is the site of an educational experiment of enormous proportions and that Klein is a master at moving private funds into the public sector. We can only hope that the folks who belong to the Research Partnership for New York City Schools are able to isolate the effects of the many different incentives that are going into place to improve the performance of parents, teachers, and students. Good research could generate important information for school reformers everywhere.

UPDATE: The press release is up now at the city's website.

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