Duncan’s Stimulus Advice: Reward Coaching, Lengthen Instruction Time

By Liana Loewus — April 24, 2009 1 min read

From Guest Blogger Liana Heitin

In outlining how schools should use stimulus aid, during a speech at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Friday, Secretary of Education Duncan emphasized extra pay for teachers who help with staff development and an extension of school time.

“You can identify your best teachers and pay them to coach their colleagues who are having trouble,” said Duncan, according to the Associated Press.

But while standout teachers will organically emerge in any school, identifying and labeling “the best” becomes thorny when money is involved, as the never-ending debate over performance pay has proven. In fact, one New Hampshire district steered so far from rewarding performance over a more concrete factor—seniority—that it laid off a Teacher of the Year candidate (though the school board has since reversed this decision).

It seems that the development of quality teacher evaluation systems—which unions, district leaders, and teachers can agree upon—should be the number one priority for those seeking merit-based reform (see Stephen’s story on the quality of evals here). Initiatives such as Duncan’s will remain in the realm of controversy until these systems are in place.

Duncan also called for longer school days, weeks, and years, adhering to a “more is better” mindset. Perhaps this appeal, along with the requisite stimulus funds, will make its way to districts in Minnesota and Kansas that are adopting four-day school weeks in order to save money.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read