Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trying to Link Pay to Performance in D.C. Schools

Michelle Rhee is drawing a lot of attention as the new head of the the District of Columbia's public school system. One of her more controversial goals is to try to change the compensation system for teachers. As described in a recent Newsweek article
If they are willing to go on "probation" for a year—giving up their job security—and can successfully prove their talent, they can earn more than $100,000 a year and as much as $130,000, a huge salary for a teacher, after five years. If not, they still get a generous 28 percent raise over five years and keep their tenure. (All new teachers must sign up for the first option and go on probation for four years.) Rhee predicts that about half the teachers will choose to take their chances on accountability for higher pay, and that within five years the rest will follow, giving up tenure for the shot at merit pay hikes.
EXTRA CREDIT: will good or bad teachers give up tenure?


  1. It's worth noting that Obama appparently supports Rhee's proposals.

  2. Its also worth noting that McCain has come out strongly in support of the DC voucher program, which Obama cannot due because a big part of the Democratic base is teacher unions.

    When good teaching is easy to recognize, but hard to measure, vouchers may be the best solution as parents vote with their feet, and that rewards the schools, if not the individual teachers, that teach well.