Schools chief gets raise, but why not the teachers?

Simple: Chicago Public Schools new chief Jean-Claude Brizard’s 3-year contract clearly specifies numerous student performance goals. If those goals aren’t met, he’s not eligible for significant bonuses and could be fired.

If teachers are ready to be paid based on student performance and work under a fully accountable system, then they might get raises and bonuses too. But every time, a district comes close to offering pay for performance and true accountability (i.e. DC under Rhee) the union fights it, and usually defeats it.

In effect, Brizard has his work cut out for him – he can’t change his performance in the classroom to better meet student needs, but instead he must hire (and fire) the right people, set a positive culture of change throughout CPS, fix the growing debt problem, implement (and cut) the right programs, and make sure that everyone else is doing their jobs.

Brizard is responsible for improvements that he doesn’t have direct control over. That is truly accountability from the top. I wish him the best of luck and I hope the district can make and surpass the performance goals defined in Brizard’s contract – not only to show that this can work, but because the student’s deserve it.

Read more: CPS chief Brizard gets a contract – unlike predecessors- and a raise, Chicago Tribune, June 22, 2011

(Note: I recognize that the debate is still out on if performance pay does/doesn’t improve student performance.)

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