A Fair Trade?

By Vicki Kriz — July 03, 2008 1 min read
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Would you voluntarily give up your teaching seniority and tenure rights for some extra green? D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee hopes teachers in the nation’s capitol will. She has proposed a contract that would arrange such a swap, giving mid-level teachers who earn $62,000 annually the opportunity to earn over $100,000, two anonymous union members told The Washington Post. Such a pay raise would make D.C. teachers among the highest-paid in the nation.

The proposal would establish a color-coded two-tiered pay system in which teachers in the red tier would receive traditional raises and remain eligible for tenure, while teachers who voluntarily enter the green tier would lose tenure rights in favor of potentially hefty raises and bonuses possibly funded by foundations, including Broad, Dell, and Gates. “Green” teachers would be evaluated yearly and would only be allowed to continue teaching if they passed their review and raised student test scores.

Rhee hopes the plan will be seen as a way to ensure District teachers are “the most highly compensated and competent” in the country. Union members, however, expressed doubts that teachers would agree to such a trade. “You may be trading off your future, your tenure, your job security,” a union member said. “When you trade that, it seems to me you’re not getting much.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.