Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

EDUCATION; Pay and Progress

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

EDUCATION; Pay and Progress

Article excerpt

A new national study suggesting linking teacher pay to student test scores as a key catalyst for improving schools is persuasive.

The analysis by The Teaching Commission, a 19-member group formed in 2003 in efforts to enhance teaching nation- wide, is on target in noting that the current system falls down because salaries and raises are usually based on a teacher's education and experience rather than effort and performance.

The commission describes improving teacher quality as "the missing link" needed for making schools better.

But, it also identifies other problems, such as too many students learning key subjects from teachers who didn't major or minor in those subjects in college. The study also noted that the schools in rundown areas, which often need the most experienced teachers, get the least experienced ones.

Among other recommendations, the study urges school systems to pay teachers extra for teaching subjects such as math, where teachers tend to be thin. It also advocates paying teachers more for working in hard-to-staff schools and for making teacher pay more competitive in general with other professions. …

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