Insane Idea

17 11 2006

I’m not sure this school board member heard what he said, but I think he’s got a good point.

Implementing teacher bonus pay program an “impossible task”


November 16, 2006
By By David Magliano


Students always remember that one, special teacher, and the state wants to give pay bonuses to its best educators through its new Special Teachers Are Rewarded program.It may sound good, but the Walton County School Board said implementing the program in the time they have might be overwhelming.“We’ve been given an impossible task to do in a more impossible timeline,” said Superintendent Carlene Anderson at a special school board workshop meeting Nov. 13 to discuss how to get the program started.

STAR is a state program that awards bonus pay to teachers based on the performance of their students. The top 25 percent of teachers in each district is entitled to a bonus of 5 percent of their normal salary.

How the top 25 percent is determined, however, is controversial.

Specific plans vary, but in general, if a student shows improvement over the course of a school year, the student’s teacher is given points. If students do not show improvement or show regression, their teachers lose points.

For example, if a student scored a 2 in last year’s FCAT reading test, and scores a 3 at the end of this year, the student’s reading teacher is given a predetermined score for that particular improvement.

Each student is evaluated, the teacher is assigned the appropriate points, the scores are averaged, and the teacher’s score is compared to other reading teachers.

In theory, higher scores indicate greater student improvement and, therefore, better teachers, but not everyone agrees.

“The whole idea of being accountable for somebody else learning something is the most insane idea I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Mark Davis, vice chairman of the school board.

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