|It aint neither one...|
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown has said she doesn't understand why the Buffalo Teacher Federation won't go along and agree to whatever it is the state wants in the APPR. Dr. Brown cites Syracuse and Rochester as examples of places who've capitulated and apparently wishes Buffalo would follow suit and do the same. In Syracuse they've agreed to go along with a merit pay scheme. Here's an interesting parallel to merit pay from the medical field who also toyed with the idea of performance pay for cardiac surgeons
"When health care systems (such as Medicare) attempted to reward cardiac surgeons, or their hospitals or practice groups, for survival rates of their patients, medical professionals responded by declining to operate on the sickest patients. When the Department of Labor attempted to reward local agencies for placing the unemployed in jobs, the agencies increased placement rates by getting more workers into more easily-found short-term poorly-paid jobs, and fewer into harder-to-find but more skilled long-term jobs. When prosecutors have been rewarded for the number of cases cleared, more plea bargains based on false confessions resulted. When U.S. News and World Report ranks colleges partly by the share of applicants for whom they have no space, colleges respond by soliciting unqualified high school students to apply."
Syracuse is also on board with the idea that kids need test prep more than time to relax, run, play and act like kids. They went as far as taking recess away from students so they can spend more time drilling for standardized tests. If we're nothing like this bunch of sellout chickenshits then I believe we are in great shape.
As far as Rochester is concerned they bargained away tenure rights for larger salaries back in the late 80's. Rochester's pay scale also has fewer than half as many step increases as one endures over a career in Buffalo and after about 12 years Rochester teachers can earn upwards of $100K annually. Considering they work without tenure protection and only have to work half as long to make a lot more than anyone in Buffalo's classrooms there might well be some incentives for teachers in Rochester to play ball with their district as compared to the hate/hate relationship Buffalo has with its teaching force. Oh and last Spring about 400 Rochester teachers got layoff slips but many were promised their jobs back after retirees and resignations and the like were accounted for by the end of the year. That's all very comforting as long as none of the layoffs has your name on it.
I hope taking a closer look at how we're NOT anything like either of these two cities will help the Superintendent understand why we are NOT going to follow them lemming-like off any cliffs in the near future. And whenever she decides to admit her mistake in opting to back the 50% Stupid Turnaround model -- you know the one that violated the law and broke the labor agreement between Buffalo teachers and the district -- and agrees to undo the mess she's created with it she will have BTF at the table ready to negotiate in good faith. Just for the record, offering teachers an arbitrary sum of $2500 to ignore the law breaking and the contract violations is NOT acting in good faith. It's compounding the problem and adding to the district's long standing image of contract breaking, legal dodging and illegal activities aimed at teachers who are then accused of cheating the kids by the very same lawbreakers. If you want to make a deal you need to come clean and do right, otherwise you can share this albatross with Commissioner King. Maybe Pearson's crack staff of test writers can help you write up an explanation of where the 56 million went.