Meeks: $50K could lure teachers to bad schools

Link: Meeks: $50K could lure teachers to bad schools.

Just as he put pressure on Gov. Blagojevich to produce a school funding plan, Meeks will turn up the heat on Mayor Daley today to encourage the best teachers to work in the city's neediest schools.

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  • The problem with Senator Meeks idea is that just because a quality teacher accepts a bonus there is no guarantee that the CPS will not close down the school and the teacher will no longer have a job. There is also the issue of position reductions as has is currently happening with special education teachers. In fact the CPS tried this strategy with low performing schools when it created the teachers for Chicago program. In this case they gave uncertified teachers a completely free Masters degree in return for teaching at some the citys weakest schools. One such school was Calumet high school, now closed.

    Four teachers for Chicago teachers were assigned to the school, their average ACT scores were 20% higher than those of the average person going into teaching. At the end of the first year of the program, 3 of the four teachers were cut from the school due to layoffs. Eventually even the last teacher was gone because of the closing of Calumet.

    The problem with Meeks idea is the CPS, any teacher who takes a job at a school that has not been making AYP for years have to realize closing is a possibility. So if you are a quality teacher who can get a job at a higher performing school, why in the world would you want to take a job at a school that may be closed?

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