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PUSD - Race to the Top

Original post made by Dark Corners of Town, Country Fair, on Dec 20, 2009

At the upcoming Jan 5, 2010 PUSD Board of Trustees meeting agenda item 2.1 is to approve an MOU contingent upon success in winning a Race to the Top grant. This MOU is included in the Board Packet File located here: Web Link
The Scope of Work includes required elements such as (page 10):
“(iv)(b) Use evaluations to inform decisions on compensation, promotion and retention of teachers and principals, including by providing opportunities for highly effective teachers and principals to obtain additional compensation and be given additional responsibilities.”
Does it necessarily follow, that if PUSD can identify the top highly effective teachers and give them additional compensation, that it can also identify the bottom effective teachers and give them a corresponding immediate reduction in pay (to cover the increases to the top performers) or dismiss that teacher as provided for in:
“(iv)(d) Use evaluations to inform removal of ineffective teachers and principals who have had ample opportunities to improve, and ensure that such decision are made using rigorous standards and streamlined, transparent and fair procedures.”
Teacher unions across the country have long been in opposition to data-driven assessments of teacher performance. The MOU has a place for Trevor Knaggs’ (President, Association of Pleasanton Teachers) signature. If PUSD wins this grant, how much effort will be put into these two work items and will it help improve the overall PUSD teacher workforce quality? Is this a serious effort at education reform or a federal money grab that locks in new teacher/principal salary entitlements?
What do you think?

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