$125,000 Question Revisited

A little break from the 2008 blogger reflections…

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. Equity Project Charter SchoolThe Equity Project gained national recognition for promising to pay their teachers $125,000 in their goal to prove that the number one impact for 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.”

It will be exciting to see how The Equity Project impacts the national debate on teacher quality and compensation. Summer 2009 Teachers, as you begin the summer program, we challege you to think about how the kind of quality instruction that can change lives is developed, maintained and rewarded–monetarily, but also in ways without a $…


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