Houston Chronicle: Vouchers Are a Waste and a Diversion
16 minutes ago
The commission, which is being led by the former Citigroup chairman Richard D. Parsons, has also gained two more well-known names from Wall Street: Sanford I. Weill, another former Citigroup chairman, and Stanley F. Druckenmiller, a billionaire hedge fund manager.
The new appointees include a parent advocate from Rochester, a newly elected school board member from the Adirondacks and a district superintendent from Central New York — three constituencies that the governor was criticized for not including on the panel when he announced it in April.
The argument that they are, in fact, public schools is central to charters’ stance that they deserve to receive space rent-free in public school buildings. That allowance is made in New York City but is rare elsewhere.
■ A 2 percent raise in year one.This is amazing. Even Burger King employees get 15% more pay if they work 15% more hours. Chicago teachers are expected, perhaps, to be too stupid to notice. Goodbye to increases you've gotten for sticking it out and staying with the kids for 20 years. Hello to "reformers" deciding whether or not you deserve a raise. Did you raise test scores? Did you wash the principal's car? Did you spend Tuesday afternoon in Motel 6 with your AP?
■ A pay freeze in year two.
■ Raises based on “differentiated pay’’ in years three to five. A joint district-union committee, to be seated in January, would decide how “differentiated pay” would work but it could reward teachers of high-need subjects, in high-need schools, or in teacher leadership positions, or those who rate highly in a new teacher evaluation system that is tied, in part, to student growth.
■ Elimination of “step and lane’’ increases for extra years of seniority and added certifications.
■ A longer school day that, under a new law, does not require union approval. The elementary school day will increase from 5 ¾ to 7 hours, and the high school day will increase from 7 hours to 7 ½ hours four days a week, with an early dismissal on the fifth day.