East Providence Moves Forward in Another Way

From a press release just out from the East Providence School Committee:

The proposal calls for a collaboration among “stakeholders” in developing the system of evaluating teachers that will be the basis for paying them beginning in 2011. The “stakeholders” would include parents, teachers, administrators, the teachers’ union and educational experts from Rhode Island and beyond.
The proposal would pay a top step “Master” teacher a base salary of over $80,000, higher than any other school department in the state.
“We’re not just willing to pay for excellence, we want to pay for it,” said Carcieri. “We have many, many teachers who are worth their weight in gold. It’s time to stop pretending that all teachers are the same, and to reward those who go the extra mile, who really bring the best out in their students.”

The details are the difficulty, of course, and the trick is getting the union to agree, inasmuch as folks will tend not to abandon a really good deal (as the teachers currently have) if there’s any risk at all that obtaining a better deal will require work and will not be a sure thing. But this is a direction that the United States must pursue if it is eventually to cease its dereliction when it comes to educating younger generations.
My guess, though, is that it’s yet another obvious and necessary change that is going to have to be implemented unilaterally.



Full press release:

In another bold stroke to transform the East Providence Schools to a model of excellence, the East Providence School Committee today announced a proposal to pay teachers based on the quality of their work. Rhode Island’s public school teachers all currently are paid strictly on the basis of seniority. In East Providence, they’ll receive “pay for performance” beginning in 2011.
“Today, we are taking our next giant step forward,” said Anthony Carcieri, School Committee Chair.
The School Committee’s attorney, Dan Kinder, sent the proposal to its teachers’ union representative, Jeanette Woolley, by email today. The proposal calls for a collaboration among “stakeholders” in developing the system of evaluating teachers that will be the basis for paying them beginning in 2011. The “stakeholders” would include parents, teachers, administrators, the teachers’ union and educational experts from Rhode Island and beyond.
The proposal would pay a top step “Master” teacher a base salary of over $80,000, higher than any other school department in the state.
“We’re not just willing to pay for excellence, we want to pay for it,” said Carcieri. “We have many, many teachers who are worth their weight in gold. It’s time to stop pretending that all teachers are the same, and to reward those who go the extra mile, who really bring the best out in their students.”
Superintendent Mario Cirillo said, “Every teacher in our system has the potential for excellence. Every one can raise their students to new heights. We want a system that gives teachers incentives to be the best and a system that gives them the tools and support they need to get there. It’s all part of the culture of achievement we’re creating in East Providence for our students and faculty alike.”
Only last week, Valerie Lawson, President of the East Providence Education Association (NEARI) announced that the teachers’ union had voted to withhold after school work that has always been part of teachers’ jobs. Deborah Gist, Commissioner of Education, has called this job action a “modified work to rule.” She has said that this “is the exact opposite” of what teachers agree to when they become educators.
“It’s not okay for teachers to say they won’t perform their jobs,” said Carcieri. “That’s not okay for any employee, but it’s intolerable in a teacher. A teacher performs a public trust. And our teachers already rank among the best paid in America.”
“The Union has either ignored or else refused all requests to negotiate a new contract,” Kinder said. “They haven’t wanted to even talk about the financial crisis in East Providence since last October. The School Committee hopes they’ll come to the table now and work on these issues with us. Maybe it could be a step towards a new contract.”
The School Department’s chief operating officer, Lonnie Barham, commented “We can do all this without breaking the bank. We’ve avoided running up debt this year, and we’ve taken steps necessary to begin paying down the old debt beginning this fall. We won’t run up more with this initiative.”
Pay for performance systems have been implemented for teachers in a dozen or so school systems across America in recent years. Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, Florida are among the states where pay for performance systems have been introduced. President Obama, speaking before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supported the concept, saying, “Good teachers will be rewarded with more money for improved student achievement and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools. The time for finger-pointing is over. The time for holding ourselves accountable is here. What’s required is not simply new investments, but new reforms. It is time to expect more from our students. It is time to start rewarding good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. It is time to demand results from government at every level.”
Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education told officials and local delegates of the National Education Association at their annual meeting in San Diego , “Our challenge is to make sure every child in America is learning from an effective teacher, no matter what it takes, So today, I ask you to join President Obama and me in a new commitment to results that recognizes and rewards success in the classroom and is rooted in our common obligation to children.”
“It will take years to clean up the financial mess we inherited,” said Carcieri, “but we’re determined not to let that be an excuse for accepting mediocrity in our schools. Our goal is to become the best school system in Rhode Island. That will take years, too. But we will get there.”

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Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

I don’t see why the rank and file wouldn’t go for it. Doesn’t every teacher think they are one of the great ones? So everyone would see that $80k and think it is in their future. Anyone who doesn’t think they’re one of the greats after 10 years on the job needs to get out.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

” a proposal to pay teachers based on the quality of their work”
So does this mean that some teachers will be paid less than they are now? (she asked from within a well-reinforced bunker)

Pat Crowley
Pat Crowley
11 years ago

From No Child Left Behind to No Lawyer Left Unpaid.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

From No Child Left Behind to No Lawyer Left Unpaid.
Patsy Crowley would know, as his and his Union-hack flock’s very survival depends on Lawyers & Courts.
But for Lawyers and Courts, they’d be eating cat-food out of a tin can.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
11 years ago

We all know there are many teachers that are terrific, hard working, excellent professionals. Unfortunately for them, they have been maligned by the pigs that run their unions. These pigs, starting with Patsy Crowley, reflect so poorly on them, it is just unimaginable that anyone of mild intelligence would allow themselves to continue to be represented by them.
I know a lot of it has to do with the Nazi tactics that the teacher unions use – that of having their little spies in each school to report back to headquarters who is getting out of line.
If teachers want to earn back the respect that they deserve, they need to made a stand against these Nazi, pig, union punks that give them a bad name.
Until then, they deserve to be disrespected. You reap what you sow.

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