Sensible Compensation Policies That Add Up

By Brenda Welburn, Former Executive Director of NASBE

Welburn was a moderator and resource expert on improving educator effectiveness through evaluation and compensation reform at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special re:VISION series on educator effectiveness here.) She served as the executive director of NASBE from 1994 until 2012 and is known as an association manager and legislative professional with more than 35 years of experience in policy development and analysis in education and human service issues. Below she shares her insight on teacher compensation.

The movement of tying teacher compensation to student achievement has gained momentum throughout the nation, but not without serious debate on how to achieve the goals of the movement without adversely affecting the teaching profession and the learning environment.

To some it seems like a simple premise; those who perform at the highest level should receive the highest rewards. Yet for years policymakers have wrestled with the dilemma of how to support accountability plans that measure proficiency, while acknowledging the significance of student growth and progress among those students with the greatest deficiencies. To do this in a way that rewards milestones in progress – without impeding the goal of genuine student competency – is no easy task. One teacher’s class may have higher test scores, while another’s shows more measurable growth. The idea that student achievement in isolation can be the sole determinant of a teacher’s effectiveness, and thus their compensation package, does not reflect the reality of practice.

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23
Apr 2014
AUTHOR Brenda Welburn
COMMENTS No Comments

The Common Core: Meeting Students Where They Are, Preparing Them for Where They Are Going

By Cicely Woodard, 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

When I first met my student, Mary, in August, she had an infamous mantra. Every time I saw her she said to me, “Mrs. Woodard, I hate math.” Whether in the halls during class change, at my door just before class started, or even in the cafeteria, she had the same greeting. She told me stories of how she had struggled with math in the past and how her parents stayed on her about her failing grades. Enter the Common Core State Standards.

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26
Mar 2014
AUTHOR Cicely Woodard
COMMENTS No Comments

If Tests Aren’t Working for Teachers and Families, They’re Not Working

By Aimee Rogstad Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign

Guidera was a panelist and resource expert on testing and assessments at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special re:VISION series on educator effectiveness here.) She is also the founder of Data Quality Campaign and leads the efforts to encourage policymakers to increase the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement. Below she shares how effective student assessments are crucial to improving student outcomes and educator effectiveness.

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18
Mar 2014
AUTHOR Aimee Rogstad Guidera
COMMENTS No Comments

New Initiative to Promote Goals of Higher Standards

The Hunt Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched a new initiative to support the goals of the Common Core State Standards. The organizations will emphasize their importance to students, while also trying to dispel myths about the standards. The new partnership was announced by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D), a prominent supporter of the common core, during a press conference in Wilmington, on March 10, 2012.

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14
Mar 2014
AUTHOR The Hunt Team
COMMENTS No Comments

Resetting The Leadership Compass to Achieve Student Success

By Frank Till, Superintendent, Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina.

Dr. Till was a panelist and resource expert on improving educator effectiveness through evaluation and compensation reform at The Hunt Institute’s 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat. (To learn more about this issue, see The Institute’s special reVISION series on educator effectiveness here.) Under Dr. Till’s tenure, test scores have risen significantly. In the 2011-2012 school year, over 90 percent of schools achieved growth, and all of the high schools were above the state average for graduation. Last year, his school district was one of four finalists for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes large urban districts for significant progress in increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap. Below he shares how his district transformed teaching and learning.

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11
Mar 2014
AUTHOR Frank Till
COMMENTS No Comments

Holshouser Continues Legacy of Bi-Partisan Collaboration

By The Hunt Team

Last month, Ginny Holshouser Mills delivered an impassioned welcome to North Carolina legislators during The Institute’s Holshouser Legislators Retreat – named in honor of her father, Governor Jim Holshouser. She recalled her father’s steadfast commitment to public education and bi-partisan collaboration as he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of North Carolina’s students. Her captivating remarks left all in attendance inspired and thinking about the importance of teamwork for the greater good. The following are excerpts from her speech.

“When he was in office, dad was serious about education, rural healthcare, the environment, and economic development. But after leaving office, dad dedicated most of his public service time to the areas of education and economic development. Why? Because he believed that education mattered more to the future of our state than any other area, and without it, there would be no way to build the North Carolina economy for generations to come. In short, education matters. And, dad thought that there were some things that mattered more than others.

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05
Mar 2014
AUTHOR The Hunt Team
COMMENTS No Comments

The Collaborative for Student Success: The Need is Great for Truth-Telling on Common Core

By Stacy Carlson and Julie Mikuta

Imagine a lifeguard course in which more than half of its graduates don’t know basic CPR. Or a pharmacology college in which three-quarters of the graduates routinely commit dosage errors because they don’t understand proportional math.

If it sounds far-fetched, it shouldn’t. Every year, nearly six in ten first-year college students arrive on campus and are shocked to learn they require remedial courses in English or mathematics – classes that cost just as much as college courses, but don’t earn credits.

Among students entering two-year colleges, the statistics are even more sobering: three-quarters of incoming students require remedial instruction in English, math or both.

A New York Post report published last year found that an astonishing 80 percent of New York City high school grads enrolled at CUNY community colleges required remedial classes.

The problem isn’t unique to CUNY. Lack of college readiness is one of the leading factors nationally responsible for a failure to earn a college degree. Every year, it imposes enormous costs on students and their families – an estimated $3 billion annually – and also on taxpayers, who are forced to foot the bill for duplicative instructions, in high school and then again in college.

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28
Feb 2014
AUTHOR Stacy Carlson and Julie Mikuta
COMMENTS No Comments

Redesigning Professional Development

By Patricia A. Wasley, CEO, Teaching Channel

For years we have invested significant resources in professional development for teachers – somewhere in the vicinity of $16 billion per year. And please don’t forget the countless hours of time and energy that teachers spend in trying to move their practice forward. Unfortunately, the disappointing fact is that we have not seen the corresponding jump in student achievement that such an investment merits. It’s no surprise why when the common approach to professional development is revealed. More often than not, new strategies are demonstrated in front of groups of teachers who come from a variety of disciplines, grade levels, and school contexts. In this setting, teachers can observe and can ask questions, but they are sent back to their own classrooms to figure out how to adapt new strategies on their own.

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25
Feb 2014
AUTHOR Patricia Wasley
COMMENTS No Comments

Gates Foundation’s Vicki Phillips: Common Core Momentum II

Vicki Phillips, director of education, college ready at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, continues her discussion about the momentum of  the Common Core implementation process on Eduwonk.com. The first part of her discussion – Eduwonk: Gates Foundation’s Vicki Phillips On Common Core Momentum – can be found here. “Stick-to-itiveness. Determination. Tenacity. Grit. These are […]

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21
Feb 2014
AUTHOR The Hunt Team
COMMENTS No Comments

RECAP: The 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat

By The Hunt Team

Sweeping education legislation in 2013 has resulted in monumental changes for teaching and student assessment in North Carolina’s public schools. Local school districts are working hard to implement these new policies and are calling on policymakers to re-examine the pace of change, the efficacy of these reforms, and the expectations being placed on classroom teachers.

Last month, The Hunt Institute convened North Carolina legislators in Greensboro, NC, for the 2014 Holshouser Legislators Retreat amidst this backdrop of trepidation and change. This bi-partisan group of 60 policymakers spent two days with national and state education experts discussing key topics such as teacher effectiveness and compensation, student assessments, school accountability, partnerships that promote college and career readiness, and the role rigorous standards play in securing North Carolina’s economic future.

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