Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tweety-Bird

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, reports The Quick and the Ed, a tweet from twitter-fan Diane Ravitch went viral and misconstrued a 2007 paper from Education Sector called “Frozen Assets: Rethinking Teacher Contracts Could Free Billions for School Reform.”

Here’s the tweet:
@DianeRavitch Diane Ravitch
Saving school $$$ by cutting teacher salaries & pensions, spending instead on “reform.” Unbelievable: tinyurl.com/3eryd4o
The paper actually examines eight provisions common in teacher contracts that have little effect on student learning: teacher salary increases based on seniority, advanced degrees, back-loaded benefits, class size limitations, etc. Education Sector’s analysis says that 19% of every school district’s budget is “locked up” by these provisions, which nationwide comes to $77 billion each year.

Here’s the last section of the paper which, to be fair to Ms. Ravitch, is more than 140 characters:
Such steps [to redistribute school funding] would not reduce funding for teacher compensation; rather, they would distribute compensation differently, in ways that potentially would be of greater benefit to students. And given that redistributing teacher compensation and changing teacher working conditions would likely be controversial within the teaching profession, school administrators who implement such changes would have to take steps to honor commitments on compensation and working conditions that they’ve made to current teachers.

1 comment:

A. Gad Fly said...

Are we to accept without question your premise that the eight contract provisions actually have little effect on student learning? I don't accept it for any of those provisions. The truth is much more complicated - too complicated for the hysterical debate we've been having in the teacher-bashing fest.

There is no room here to go point by point, so let's just take the most obvious of your flawed assertions. That would be one that has a relationship across the board, but especially to schools in under-performing districts...

http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/ReducingClass/Class_size.html

Chirp.