In terms of this,
[Chancellor of D.C. public schools Michelle] Rhee proposes offering teachers the choice of staying in the seniority system or giving up their seniority and tenure rights in exchange for the opportunity to earn as much as $131,000 a year for raising student performance.Does anybody have any details on the specifics of this proposal, or how it would work in practice? Is this going to be a typical "transformational" union contract deal whereby new teachers are pressed into the "bonus-based, non-tenured" positions while teachers already in the union get similar rewards without accepting similar risks? Given that the D.C. schools don't have the funds to double teacher salaries, how many (or should I say, how few) teachers will actually get the types of bonuses and merit pay Lieberman describes?
One of the advantages of tenure is that it insulates teachers from parental complaints. What incentive will school administrators have to stand behind teachers whose demands and classroom discipline trigger complaints from students and parents, particularly in schools where large numbers of students are disinterested and their parents unsupportive of education? How will student performance be measured? Simply by administration of standardized tests, thus overtly rewarding "teaching to the test" even if other teaching techniques are more inspirational or provide a better framework for learning?