The Commission on No Child Left Behind this morning issued its long-awaited recommendations - 75 in all - to fix the five-year-old law that aims to, as its name states, leave no child behind in the public schools. Much work remains, the commission says, noting the continued gap in achievement levels among the races and high dropout rates. The key to student success, the report states, is teacher quality. Its recommendation: measure whether teachers are highly qualified by using their "effectiveness in the classroom."
Sound familiar, Florida? Outcomes not inputs. Can you say Special Teachers Are Rewarded, the state's hot button performance pay program that is currently under review in Tallahassee.
Not surprisingly, it took the National Education Association less than an hour to send out a missive with a blunt message: Tell Congress to reject the highly qualified teacher effectiveness mandate. Shortly after came reaction from the American Federation of Teachers, whose president, Edward J. McElroy, called the idea a "nonstarter" and released his group's own proposals for the NCLB reauthorization.
If teachers across the nation react as they have here in Florida, and over in Houston, the fight could be hot and heavy. What do you think? Should teachers be evaluated based on their students' performance? Or is the current model of paying them based on their degrees and certifications the way to go?