Bloomberg vs. Failing Schools

The Case for Merit Pay

Successful teachers in many schools have shown me over the years that they know who the incompetent teachers are because these proficient teachers have to deal with students who have been mistaught. If a teacher who has survived his or her probationary period is nonetheless failing, principals should arrange for consistent help for that teacher from master teachers. If that fails, under renewable licenses, bad teachers should be dismissed. And teachers who contribute to the lifelong learning of their students should get merit pay.

In this city, on October 16, the chancellor's office disclosed that only 1035 (1.3 percent of the 80,000 teachers in the system) had been given unsatisfactory ratings for the 2000-01 school year. Is it any wonder, Mayor Bloomberg, that so many children are being lost when so few of their teachers are being acknowledged as failures themselves? You want more control over the school system. First, you have to learn a lot more about it.

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