Zeke Vanderhoek, The Equity Project founder. Photo courtesy of the NY Times.
New York City teacher-blogger Christine Gralow explains why she joined an advisory board for The Equity Project Charter School, which attracted a flurry of attention this spring for proposing to pay teachers $125,000. The school will save money by taking the various duties of administrators — coordinating special events, overseeing detention, and reaching out to parents, for example — and distributing them among teachers, providing time in the (extended) school day for these tasks. Gralow’s all for it:
I also noted while working at this school that there were a lot of seemingly excessive staff positions — various coordinators, academic coaches, and subject supervisors — that, while originally designed to help students succeed, were in fact making little difference, or in some cases actively getting in the way of teachers’ classroom focus. For schools serving primarily at-risk student populations, it makes sense to cut such positions; put more money into recruiting and retaining the country’s smartest, most competent teachers; and divvy up the school’s administrative responsibilities amongst those highly competent teachers. Good teachers already serve as parent coordinators, academic coaches, and subject supervisors anyway.
She adds that in a city as expensive as New York, paying teachers more is essential for retention.
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