$125,000 Question

As mentioned before, one of the benefits of the Charter School movement is the chance to experiment with policy on a small scale. Today’s New York Times features one of these laboratories in education, The Equity Project Charter School to open in 2009 that promises to pay it’s teachers $125k, plus bonuses for schoolwide performance. This is an interesting look at a school jumping right into the controversial issues of teacher attraction/retention and merit pay.

Key quote from founding Principal Zeke M. Vanderhoek:

“I would much rather put a phenomenal, great teacher in a field with 30 kids and nothing else than take the mediocre teacher and give them half the number of students and give them all the technology in the world.”

While only time will tell whether this method will work, or whether it’s sustainable long term (and the article raises some interesting questions), but Breakthrough is build on the idea that teachers make learning happen, and I can’t agree with Mr. Vanerhoek more on this point.

At Charter School, Higher Teacher Pay by Elissa Gootman

One Response to $125,000 Question

  1. […] A little over a year ago we blogged about The Equity Project Charter School which is planning to open up in Washington Heights, NY this fall. The Equity Project gained national recognition for promising to pay their teachers $125,000 in their goal to prove that the number one biggest impact to improving student academic outcomes is teacher quality. A recent New York Times article highlighted Principal Zeke M. Vanderhoek’s “dream team: “a group culled from 600 applicants and 100 personal interviews and 35 classroom observations done personally by Vanderhoek.  If nothing else, The Equity Project is making people talk about the value of great teaching–about what it looks like, what it’s worth, how great teachers are developed, how great teachers thrive and stay committed to their jobs. As the incoming Special Education teacher Oscar Quintero who will move from Florida to Washington Heights to teach for the equity project said: “It’s so refreshing that somebody comes to a teacher and says, ‘Show me what you know.’ This is the first time in 30 years of teaching that anybody has been really interested in what I do.” […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: