Opinion
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?

Events

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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Boost Student Mental Health and Motivation With Data-Driven SEL
Improve student well-being and motivation with a personalized, data-driven SEL program.
Content provided by EmpowerU Education
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.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum

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 In Their Own Words 'I'm Afraid to Return to the Classroom': A Gay Teacher of the Year Speaks Out
Willie Carver, Jr., the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, is questioning his future as a teacher given recent anti-LGBTQ legislative efforts.
8 min read
Montgomery County teacher and Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Willie Carver, in downtown Mt. Sterling, Ky., on May 11, 2022.
Willie Carver is the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and teaches high school English and French in the Montgomery County, Ky., public schools.
Arden Barnes for Education Week
Teaching Profession Teacher Morale Is at a Low Point. Here's Where Some Are Finding Hope
It’s been a hard few years for teachers. These are the moments with students that are keeping them going.
8 min read
Conceptual Illustration of figure wallpapering blue sky over a dark night
francescoch/iStock via Getty
Teaching Profession Nation's Top Teachers Bask in White House Spotlight
The national and state teachers of the year were honored by the president and first lady in a White House ceremony.
4 min read
First lady Jill Biden hugs 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell as President Joe Biden applauds during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
First lady Jill Biden hugs 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell as President Joe Biden applauds during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday.
Susan Walsh/AP
Teaching Profession Opinion Ignore the Negativity. Be a Teacher
Every day in the classroom offers new experiences, as well as the opportunity to have a major influence on students' lives.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty