Moving Toward a Rhee-Vision in NYC?

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 12, 2008 1 min read
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In a conference call on this survey, Joel Klein, the chancellor of the New York City schools, said he supported “front-loading” compensation for new teachers and offering more pay based on teacher bonuses.

“So much [of teacher compensation] ends up in defined-benefit pension plans,” he said. “I think a lot of teachers are not going to be around to accrue long-term pensions.”

Salary front-loading and performance pay? Hmm. Sounds a lot like the contract that District of Columbia schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is trying to put into place, with its green-tier proposal that would allow new teachers to make almost $70,000 if they demonstrate teaching effectiveness.

Rhee and Klein have appeared at events together, most notably at the Democratic National Convention. Both signed onto the Education Equity Project manifesto and support teacher-accountability measures.

I wonder if Klein will push a similar, two-tiered plan in New York? He’d probably face opposition from Randi Weingarten, the president of both the American Federation of Teachers and its New York affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers. By all accounts, she is not a fan of the D.C. plan.

(Members of the Washington Teachers Union are set to discuss the D.C. contract proposals on Sept. 22 or 23; reports differ. In any case, we may soon know whether the red/green tier proposal will be included in a tentative contract and be put to a vote, or whether Michelle Rhee will have to resort to Plan B.)

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