Friday, October 22, 2010

MCEA Members for Reform- Voices of Teachers

More from the series on other teachers in MCEA who believe our current evaluation is not quite right. We don't all have the same ideas, but we agree that the current system can and should be changed- even in Montgomery County- where many many great teachers teach. Many thanks for all who participate.

I’m concerned that the current system does not distinguish among teachers based on their performance. To say that one group is “not meeting standard” and another group “meets standard” lumps together people with a very broad range of skill, experience, and effectiveness. I would propose adopting a new system in which teachers are compensated based on their demonstrated competence in their respective fields. There are plenty of observable, measurable behaviors that a trained observer *who is an expert in your field* (i.e. not a generic administrator) can readily identify. So I would advocate for paying teachers based on skill attainment, not mere longevity. And CPD credits? These are useful only insofar as they impact the teacher’s behavior.

I would also question the wisdom of paying all teachers the same salary. I happen to think my discipline (mathematics) is especially challenging to teach, and requires unusual efforts to teach well. Each level (ES, MS, HS) and each discipline comes with its own unique challenges, but I don’t believe the same level of effort is required across the board to produce the same level of success. So it seems unfair to me that all teachers get paid the same.

James Key

Math teacher, Sherwood High School


1 comment:

  1. Some great points here. I do, however, disagree with basing teacher pay on specific subjects, unless those subjects are critical shortage areas and need to be incentivized. What metrics would determine which subjects are difficult to teach and which require less skill? I think that's subjective and would decrease staff morale much more than incentive pay.