Teachers earn $125,000 a year — plus an annual bonus worth up to $25,000 — at a New York City charter school, reports 60 Minutes. If they don’t excel, they can be fired. “What we are trying to do is build a school where every teacher is a great teacher,” says Zeke Vanderhoek, founder of The Equity Project school in a low-income Manhattan neighborhood.
In its second year, the school enrolls fifth and sixth graders. Most students come from low-income families; more than two thirds are reading below grade level.
“The difference between a great teacher and a mediocre or poor teacher is several grade levels of achievement,” says Vanderhoek. “A school that focuses all of its energy and resources on fantastic teaching can bridge the achievement gap.”
The school’s first class scored below the district and state average last year. Vanderhoek replaced some teachers. If the school doesn’t achieve excellence in four years, “then I shouldn’t keep my job,” Vanderhoek tells Couric.