Opportunity at the Top, a new Public Impact report, offers to show “how America’s best teachers could close the gaps, raise the bar and keep our nation great.” Co-author Bryan Hassel says:
Today, great teachers reach a mere fraction of the children whom they could help, are paid a fraction of their worth, and exit teaching in numbers too large.
. . . Our nation’s best teachers should be outraged at how we have denied them the pay and career opportunities that talented professionals in other jobs enjoy.
Public education attracts some top-notch talent — but then does a poor job of keeping the best teachers and leveraging their abilities to benefit more students, concludes the report, which is funded by the Joyce Foundation. It calls for an “opportunity culture” for America’s teachers:
Adopt policies designed to disproportionately retain high-performers;
Extend the reach — and compensation — of the best teachers;
Recruit more great teachers;
Dismiss low-performing teachers who do not get results for students.
Public Impact has also released 3X for All: Extending the Reach of Education’s Best, which is funded by the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.
Prioritize effectiveness, not seniority, when deciding on teacher layoffs, says a new Education Trust West policy brief.
In the lowest performing 10 percent of schools in California, the average teacher has more than 11 years of experience, Ed Trust West found. “Our highest need schools and students need effective teachers, regardless of how many years those teachers have been in the classroom,” says Arun Ramanathan, executive director of the nonprofit.
At a conference at Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, Munich University economist Ludger Woessmann presented a paper on pay for teachers in 28 industrialized countries: Countries with merit-pay policies perform 0.25 standard deviations higher on an international math and science test than students in countries without such policies. That represents a full year of learning, writes Paul Peterson.