The following was included in the July 23, 2013 issue of the Public Education NewsBlast:
First steps, great impact
A new paper from Education Resource Strategies explores what actions districts can take to impact teacher effectiveness immediately. These "First Steps" can positively impact student outcomes; be implemented within a year; be implemented within existing collective bargaining agreements; require little or no new investment, or are budget neutral when implemented in combination; and build toward a new teacher-compensation and career-path system to attract, retain, and leverage skills of a highly effective teaching force. One "First Step" is to ask strong performers to assume responsibility, then reward them for their impact. Districts can do this by matching high-need students with the best teachers, and/or by expanding the reach of the best teachers through larger classes or leadership roles. Another "First Step" is to give low-performing teachers extra support to help them succeed, eliminate raises for underperforming teachers, manage out underperformers through absence and tardiness accountability, and deny tenure to underperformers. A third First Step is to link what's paid to why it's paid by linking COLA increases to actual cost of living, and closely monitoring what coursework counts toward lane progression. A final First Step is to invest more in recruiting and hiring, improving the quality of applicants through identification and robust screening.