More on Teacher Recruitment

Across the board pay raises to alleviate the teacher shortage? That’s expensive, and perhaps not terribly useful. After all, an across-the-board raise means that money is not being targeted towards the jobs most in need of teachers. It also would perpetuate the factory-style way of paying teachers (time in service) rather than bring about what professionals really need, which is pay for performance.

Yet it would appear that there’s little thought being given to merit pay.

The Lawrence Journal World reports on the ongoing commission dealing with teacher recruitment and retention:

“This is probably the most serious problem facing school districts,” Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis told the 2010 Commission, which studies education issues.

One-fourth of the state’s 35,000 teachers will be eligible to retire in the next five years.

[snip]

As of June, there were 1,144 teacher vacancies statewide with the most serious shortages in special education, math, science and foreign languages.

“What are we going to do to make the teaching profession what the best want to get into?” asked 2010 Commission Vice Chairman Ray Daniels, former superintendent of the Kansas City, Kan., district.

Again, how about … treating professionals as professionals, not factory workers?

(“State funding for education to be put to test,” August 1)

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