Thursday, January 15, 2004

More Good News on the Education Front

Failing City Teachers Face a Faster Ax proclaims the headline from today's New York Times. NYC teacher union boss Randi Weingarten (interesting note- Ms. Weingarten is not a teacher by trade, but rather an attorney) is proposing a sped up dismissal process for incompetent teachers. This is fantastic news for anyone who cares about teacher quality. And not only is the union making this proposal, but buried deeper in the story is news of a potential change in the teacher career ladder to make it more similar to other guild professions (i.e., medicine). Of course, the question that will remain is whether or not compensation will be reformed as well, as this is a crucial factor in recruiting and retaining good teachers. I am not going to become overly hopeful though because a career ladder could be made to fit quite snugly with the uniform salary schedule. (I won't at this time get into why the uniform salary schedule is so bad, except to point out that it is Old Economy, not well equipped to meet market realities of a profession and rewards longevity, which is a poor proxy for quality.)


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