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Obama Rep Endorses Pay Based on Student Performance

July 15, 2008 1 min read

From contributing blogger David Hoff:

At an event in Washington today, Jane Swift explained where Sen. John McCain stands on rewarding teachers based on the improvement of their students. The Arizona Republican would give extra pay to teachers who “measurably raise” student achievement, the former Massachusetts governor told the audience of business leaders.

No surprise there.

The shocker came when Jason Kamras, the representative of the Obama campaign, essentially agreed with Swift.

In answering a question, Kamras said that “student achievement does need to be part of that equation” in performance-pay plans.

It’s a bit of a departure from what Sen. Barack Obama has said during the campaign. On July 5, the Illinois Democrat told the National Education Association he wants to experiment with “new ways to define teacher pay that are developed with teachers and not imposed on teachers.” He never mentioned whether he believes test scores should be part of the equation.

But Kamras cited the pay-for-increasing student achievement as an example of how Obama is “willing to challenge the orthodoxy on both the left and the right in the best interest of children.”

Obama’s teacher-pay plans are “something of a departure for those on the the left,” said Kamras, the National Teacher of the Year in 2005 and the director of human capital strategy for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

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