Teachers in Shelby County are seeking to build a negotiating table with the school district, according to a story from Chalkbeat:
The district’s two organizations, which represent teachers and other licensed educators, say their priorities are restoring automatic pay increases and higher pay for educators with advanced degrees, and giving more flexibility to teachers in the classroom.
Despite evidence that pay schemes based on TVAAS aren’t impacting student achievement, district superintendent Dorsey Hopson continues to push merit pay schemes:
Hopson has tried for several years to switch teacher pay to a merit system based on evaluation scores that include student test scores. That would mean only teachers with high evaluation scores would be eligible for raises.
A report based on a Gates Foundation-funded experiment in a number of districts across the country, including Memphis/Shelby County, found:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s multi-million-dollar, multi-year effort aimed at making teachers more effective largely fell short of its goal to increase student achievement—including among low-income and minority students, a new study found.
Should teachers win the right to negotiate, this issue will surely be a hot-button and the evidence directly from Memphis should certainly weigh-in to the discussions.
If the groups representing teachers successfully win the first phase, a final vote will be taken in November to determine which organization teachers want to represent them. Then, seats at the negotiating table will be divided among the two groups according to the percentage of votes received.
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