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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bill Gates: Restructure teacher pay to help education budgets

22

November

From Bill Gates' speech Friday to the Council of Chief State School Officers:

Our pay structures don’t identify or reward great teaching, and they don’t support it through training or new technology. Instead we spend a lot of money on things that have little effect on teaching or learning – like seniority. It’s reasonable to suppose that teachers who have served longer are more effective – you only have to assume that skill improves over time. But the evidence says it’s not true.

This chart shows that teacher seniority has only a modest effect on student achievement over the first five years and none thereafter.

Yet, seniority is the single most expensive teacher-contract provision. The pay increases that teachers get for years of service account for 10 percent of total school expenditures. On a budget of $500 billion, that means $50 billion is paid out every year for something that has little correlation with student achievement.

New York Times coverage here. Supplementary charts here.

[Last modified: Monday, November 22, 2010 9:29am]

    

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