Why the Prince George’s union is accepting lower bonuses for best teachers

Oct 2, 2013 by

By Jay Mathews – Despite our fierce national argument over whether to use student test scores to rate teachers, most people who care about schools agree that sophisticated, multifaceted assessments of teachers are good. The National Board Certification process sponsored by the Arlington-based National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an oft-cited example.

Even teacher union leaders, rightly suspicious of teacher-rating schemes, have praised the National Board assessments, which ignore student scores. The evaluation process takes about a year. Applicants must analyze their classroom situations and student needs, submit videos of their teaching, provide student work samples and explain how they would handle difficult moments.

Half of the applicants fail to qualify, giving those who succeed such luster that many states and districts pay them bonuses.

Prince George’s County, eager to attract the best teachers, was one of the first districts a decade ago to promise more money for board-certified teachers. So why did the county teacher union this year agree to cut the bonus for its 300 National Board-certified teachers (NBCTs)?

Prince George’s board-certified teachers were originally promised an extra $8,000 their first year and $7,000 each year after that. When the recession hit in 2009, those teachers got no bonus, but in the past two years some of the money returned: $2,000 from the county and $1,000 from the state. This year, the union, known as the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, agreed instead to a deal that reduced the county bonus to $1,000. The union wanted to use the money saved to give other teachers some of the raises and stipends they had missed in recent years.

via Why the Prince George’s union is accepting lower bonuses for best teachers – The Washington Post.

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