This is a very positive article in a couple of ways. It is great to hear that slow but sure changes are being made in teacher's pay. Teaching is one of the top jobs that should get more recognition than it does. Having many family members and friends that are teachers has really opened my eyes to the strain and stress that they go through on a daily basis. Obviously by the major increase in TCAP scores, it proves that our school systems are doing a lot of things right and there should be significant rewards for the hard work put into each school year.
Education should always be a top priority when in comes to financial situations whether it be for the kids or teachers and it is clear that Gov. Haslem is making a honest effort to make sure that changes are being made. That is almost a $4000 dollar a year raise for the average Tennessee teacher in a short amount of time.
Just like Haslem stated, "Teachers are the single most important factor in student achievement, and higher accountability for teachers and proven results should be met with better rewards.”
Hopefully these changes continue to grow over years to come.
Also if we have learned anything from breaking bad it is that teachers should get paid more.
I undoubtedly support the efforts shown by Governor Haslem’s in this article. From an objective view it is always a positive to see a state government responding to a true need of the people. From a more biased view, being the son and grandson of a current and former teacher in public education I am overjoyed that at least one state is showing an appreciation for educators.
I also find the overall gains of the state with a $400 million from the state toward education very impressive. This tells me that the state of Tennessee is not only facilitating improvements for educators but for the education system as a whole. It is possible to correlate the raise in pay of teachers and the growth in standardized test scores in recent years.
We must remember, as Governor Haslem states in the article, these improvements come as a slow and arduous task. So far they have shown to bring positive results and hopefully will continue to do so. The focus must remain with the idea that the state of Tennessee has taken the initiative among numerous national issues, to improve education. Although this decision may have multiple positive and negative implications, it is an admirable idea and deserves relentless public support.
The goals of Governor Haslam are obviously laudable. Education is a key component of our society and I think in many ways he is making the right steps toward making needed improvements. For example, earlier in the summer he created an incentive plan that would help get the best teachers in the worst performing schools in the state. (https://news.tn.gov/node/10666/)
However his track record regarding education has not been the best. Earlier in the year, over 60 superintendents sent a letter to Governor Haslam admonishing Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and the policies he has implemented. When that many education professionals are in opposition to education policies, it's important to listen to their opinion and take it under consideration. (http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/sep/18/haslam-disappointed-by-criticism-of-ed-kevin/?partner=RSS)
Also during his tenure as governor, Bill Haslam has removed the collective bargaining rights of educators and attacked seniority-based pay incentives. In 2011, he signed a bill that the stripped the main teacher's union in the state, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) of its right to engage in collective bargaining. Instead, they can now engage in a much weaker "collaborative conferencing." Also in 2011, Bill Haslam removed salary and retirement benefits that were based on seniority and level of training. While these types of incentives should be supplemented by other incentives based on teacher performance, without seniority based incentives teachers have no reason to develop a rapport or connection with their school system. (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jun/01/nashvile-haslam-signs-bills-abolishing-teacher-col/) (http://www.tricities.com/news/article_2c7effe2-9c5c-5d43-98c9-b1ac61bc81e1.html)
It is exciting though to see that the Governor now seems ready to improve teacher's pay. Hopefully, these policies will help keep the best teachers in the public school system and possibly even recruit teachers from other states.
Bill Haslam has the right idea. Teachers are one of the most unappreciated careers and most teachers do deserve a higher salary. However, I believe that before raises are distributed, the government must look at how the teachers are being assessed. The governor’s education commissioner also wants to incorporate students’ test scores as a main point when looking at a teacher’s license. Many teachers are against this proposal because they are forced to teach their classes differently due to the requirements of the state tests. I feel that it is a mistake to weight a teacher’s success on a student’s test score, which may or may not be an accurate reflection of the teacher.
Bill Haslam is right in saying that this proposal is a long-term strategy. In order to increase our state’s sub-par education ratings, the students, teachers, and state government are going to have to work together. We need to find a better system for evaluating teachers. Most teachers are genuine and have a true interest in students. However, I will be willing to bet that there are some under-qualified teachers in the schools today that do not deserve the position.
Overall, the promise to raise teachers’ salaries and to raise the education level is a noble one that needs to be pushed through. But, as with most government ideas, some details need to be reworked.
In my opinion, teachers have always deserved to get paid better. The line of work they do requires more than just tracing, they have to develop a comfortable relationship with the students to where the students can trust them and the learning process can be successful. Teachers are one of the most unappreciated professions. I also admire the fact that bill haslam is taking a long term process to the plan.