The Washington Post is again pushing Michelle Rhee's plan for eliminating tenure at for new hires and any teachers who join the new program, and increasing teacher pay for those teachers:
The bold plan of D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is two-tiered: Salaries as high as $130,000 would be available to teachers who forgo tenure and tie their pay to student performance, while those retaining tenure would still receive generous raises. No teacher with tenure would be forced to give it up under the voluntary plan.I remain puzzled by this, for reasons also raised by this editorial:
Montgomery County teachers have been told that they'll probably have to forgo the 5.3 percent pay raise they had been promised for next year because of a worsening economy. Fairfax County, which this year could afford only 2 percent cost-of-living raises for its teachers, has no idea what it will be able to provide with revenue shrinking.In other words, funds for increased teacher pay are unlikely to come from taxpayers - and given the state of the economy, school budget woes can reasonably be expected to get worse before they get better.
Still, union leaders have balked, thus jeopardizing the $200 million that Ms. Rhee says she has raised from national foundations willing to fund the contract -- but only if the District revamps how teachers are compensated.Finally a hint at how D.C. will pay for the plan - at least initially - but more details are needed. That $200 million will last how many years? Followed by what? Massive reductions in salary? Teacher layoffs? Seriously - what's the plan to sustain this level of expenditure?
The Post complains about a critic of the plan:
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, criticized the plan in a letter to the editor of the New York Times even though, as she admitted to us, she hasn't seen the plan.So the Post believes you can't comment on this plan unless you've seen it? Even though they have yet to print the plan, post it on their website, or point people to a place where they can read the plan?
I can't really argue with that, as I want to see the plan and its details so I can evaluate it for myself. I would like to know the specifics. Weingarten may be encountering the same problem I am having - the details of the plan appear to be a closely guarded secret, so to comment on the plan you have to rely on inferences and second-hand accounts.
But wait a second:
The union's refusal to put the proposal to a vote before its general membership is telling. Much misinformation about the proposal has been floated. Contrary to what has been said about the plan, there is apparently an appeals process for teachers who are terminated, as well as programs to aid in teacher development.Apparently? So the Post hasn't seen the plan either, and the authors of this unsigned editorial are relying upon second-hand descriptions that they don't even know to be true. I guess it's okay to support a plan you haven't read, just not to oppose it.