Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

‘Model’ Teacher Contract: Is Praise Overblown?

November 03, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I was delighted to read in “Teacher Contract Called Potential Model for Nation” (Oct. 28, 2009) that New Haven, Conn., has developed a teacher contract that addresses key issues going well beyond the usual negotiations on salary, benefits, and work rules. Yet, I was disappointed that the emphasis seems to be on evaluation and linking pay to performance, rather than on taking proactive steps to improve teaching and learning.

According to both empirical research and international comparisons, the most effective strategy for improving teacher performance and student achievement is to provide teachers with regular opportunities for professional learning that is teacher-led, job-embedded, and focused on results (see, for example, the National Staff Development Council’s recent report “Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad”).

While New Haven’s contract appears to provide support for veteran teachers who don’t “make the grade,” it says nothing about ensuring that every educator engages in effective professional learning every day, so that every student can achieve. When the contract contains time for teachers to meet on a regular basis to engage in collaborative learning, then I think it will be a true model for the nation.

Nancy Ames

CORE Consulting Services

Westborough, Mass.

A version of this article appeared in the November 04, 2009 edition of Education Week as ‘Model’ Teacher Contract: Is Praise Overblown?


Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
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.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Tech Is Everywhere. But Is It Making Schools Better?
Join us for a lively discussion about the ways that technology is being used to improve schools and how it is falling short.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Summer Jobs Have Become an (Unwelcome) Tradition for Many Teachers
Many teachers rely on summer as a time to earn much-needed extra income.

4 min read
Image of a computer at a desk with "Job Search" in the search window.
Syuzanna Guseynova/iStock/Getty + EdWeek
Teaching Profession Opinion The Teacher Who Inspired Me to Be Who I Am Today
It wasn’t until 10th grade that a teacher truly saw me for the first time.
Raj Tawney
3 min read
Surreal art of dream success and hope concept, a man in a grey environment looks through an open door into a bright colorful exterior
Jorm Sangsorn/iStock
Teaching Profession Opinion Teacher Stress Is Not Inevitable
But first we need to stop expecting teachers to be Band-Aids for system inequalities. Sacrifice shouldn't be part of the job.
Kristabel Stark, Kathryn Meyer & Elizabeth Bettini
4 min read
Illustration of teachers and students.
Mary Haasdyk Vooys for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession Q&A Why This Author Wants to Ditch the Term 'Teacher Burnout'
Alexandra Robbins' advocacy on behalf of teachers stems from her own research for a book on the teaching profession.
5 min read
Alexandra Robbins
Alexandra Robbins