Baillieu plan to get rid of bad teachers
Topsfield, J. The Age
(21 June 2012)
Under a plan to be released for consultation entitled “New directions for school leadership and the teaching profession,” the Victorian State government plans to amongst other things, sack the worst 5 percent of teachers. According to the plan, principals often view the process of firing teachers as burdensome: ”This [current] process [of firing teachers] seldom results in the departure of the teacher and there is a strong perception among principals that it is cumbersome, lengthy and overly complex.” The plan’s other controversial suggestions include “teachers doing extra days of professional development during school holidays, teachers of hard-to-staff subjects such as maths and science earning more money and principals coming from professions other than teaching.” The intent behind the plans is to enable Victorian students to match the performance of students in places like Finland and Shanghai on international assessment tests, like PISA, in a decade.
Kindergarten teachers protest against bad working conditions (in German)
Der Standard (11 June 2012)
On Monday, June 11, kindergarten teachers demonstrated against their working conditions. They pointed to the problem of different closing times within federal states, large teacher-student ratios, inadequate salaries, small classrooms, and too little time for preparation, extracurricular work and time with parents as policies that need to be addressed. Of particular note was how large class sizes create a problem in inclusive teaching settings. Moreover, Maria Zeilinger, a member of the occupation group for early childhood educators, says that individual learning cannot be provided under current group conditions.
Teachers could have pay frozen after poor school inspection reports
Vasagar, J. The Guardian
(30 May 2012)
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) has announced that teachers could have their salary frozen after school inspections under new measures aimed at linking teacher salary to classroom performance. According to Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, Ofsted will “consider whether there is a correlation between the quality of teaching and salary progression.” Inspectors will look at anonymized data to ensure that school heads are using performance pay to increase standards. Some government officials have called for such reforms to discourage weak teachers from staying in the field. But, Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, believes the measure would be detrimental to the teaching profession: “Performance management is supposed to be about encouraging teachers in developing their skills, not about judging pay or comparing pupil results…Teaching is a collegiate profession and this is a divisive, unrealistic and simplistic way of looking at how schools work.”
The following video highlights the methods and keys behind the new Ofsted observation of teachers to determine quality and pay:
New teacher salaries
(25 May 2012)
Reform of the teacher service law will increase base salaries and provide extra pay to teachers who help with other school-related activities. The regular workload of a teacher will be increased from 20 to 22 teaching hours per week to 24 hours/week. Teachers in academic lower secondary schools will start with a higher salary (€ 2,420/month) than before (€2,223/month), but the salary will increase slower than it has to this point. Apart from extra pay for subjects like English, teachers can receive extra payment (from €90 to 450) if they take on additional tasks (e.g., student advisor, administrative tasks supporting the principal). Historically, teachers have not been compensated for this kind of work. However, it is still unclear how much money will be available for each school. Although a 2008 study by the Economic Policy Institute found that Germany ranks second in the world for starting teacher salary as percentage of per capita GDP, improving compensation for teachers has been an important reform effort, as this article highlights about teacher salaries in Berlin.
Big class compensation coming
Steffenhagen, J. Vancouver Sun
(3 April 2012)
According to new regulations in British Columbia, “teachers who have more than 30 students in their classes next year may opt for extra pay, additional preparation time, more professional-development money or extra funds for classroom supplies.” Under Bill 22, which passed last month, teachers will earn $2,000-to-2,500 for each additional student. Some tout the cost-saving measures of the bill. For example, the president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association wrote, “If an extra 29 students can be spread around into oversized classes, that will be $2,000 less than the salary of an additional teacher.” Others, including many teachers, believe that the plan will not lead to improved student learning outcomes. (See how some teachers feel about Bill 22 here.)
As the video below shows, Bill 22’s imposition of report cards has caused confusion in British Columbia: