Sunday, March 09, 2008

At Charter School, Higher Teacher Pay

I guess my question is what would you do differently in the classroom if you salary doubled? I'm doing everything I personally can now. Doubling my salary would be great, but my in class performance wouldn't change.

Would six-figure salaries attract better teachers?

A New York City charter school set to open in 2009 in Washington Heights will test one of the most fundamental questions in education: Whether significantly higher pay for teachers is the key to improving schools.

The school, which will run from fifth to eighth grades, is promising to pay teachers $125,000, plus a potential bonus based on schoolwide performance. That is nearly twice as much as the average New York City public school teacher earns, roughly two and a half times the national average teacher salary and higher than the base salary of all but the most senior teachers in the most generous districts nationwide.

The school’s creator and first principal, Zeke M. Vanderhoek, contends that high salaries will lure the best teachers. He says he wants to put into practice the conclusion reached by a growing body of research: that teacher quality — not star principals, laptop computers or abundant electives — is the crucial ingredient for success.

“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,” said Mr. Vanderhoek, 31, a Yale graduate and former middle school teacher who built a test preparation company that pays its tutors far more than the competition.

In exchange for their high salaries, teachers at the new school, the Equity Project, will work a longer day and year and assume responsibilities that usually fall to other staff members, like attendance coordinators and discipline deans. To make ends meet, the school, which will use only public money and charter school grants for all but its building, will scrimp elsewhere.

Entire Article


Anonymous said...

I say yes! Sign me up!

Mr Tesler said...

One would have to be mad at themselves not to even consider the possibility of this place. 125,000 is quite tempting. But, with any "too good to be true" offer, what's the catch, is what I say.

What made me take pause was one of the last lines in the post, which stated that the principal was the creator of a test prep company. If that's the case, is this what the school is going to be about? Is that how results are going to be measured? Or, will there be opportunity for creativity, academic freedom, etc.?

I'm sure they're getting bombarded with resumes...I'm a little skeptical, though.

Anonymous said...

I think it's that he has an entrepreneurial spirit and perhaps wanted to do something beyond test prep. But the DOE approved his plan and the DOE is concerned with test scores so maybe you're on to something.