Thursday, March 31, 2011

CMS seeks to bypass teacher vote on performance pay

A local bill introduced by Rep. Ruth Samuelson this week would allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board to launch teacher performance pay without the approval of teachers.

Reaction from teachers has been swift. Judy Kidd, head of the Classroom Teachers Association, sent an "action alert" last night, urging members to tell local legislators that the bill "is NOT in the best interest of students of CMS, teachers of CMS and therefore the economic stability of Mecklenburg County." That group and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators plan a news conference later today.

"If you want buy-in to any kind of performance pay, this is not the way to go about it," said CMAE President Mary McCray.

Trent Merchant, the school board's point person on performance pay, said this morning he hopes CMS can still create a plan that would win teacher approval, but said the bill would give the board a "nuclear option" for a key part of its education reform. He said CMS leaders have botched communication on the issue and lost the support of teachers and many parents, and called for a "time out" to rethink how officials are interacting with faculty.

"When we started talking about this three years ago, we said it would be done with teachers, not to teachers," he said. "Right now it seems like teachers feel like something is being done to them. Right now it feels adversarial."

Some background: Superintendent Peter Gorman and the board have long viewed performance pay as a key to improving educational results. The plan is to identify and reward the most effective teachers while helping weaker ones improve -- or, if all else fails, getting rid of them.

State legislators already approved a plan that would allow a handful of districts -- so far, CMS is the only one to apply -- to revise the teacher pay scale under certain conditions, including approval by a majority of teachers.

As CMS has moved toward its performance pay plan, which is scheduled to take effect for teachers in 2014, resistance has grown. Teachers have voiced concern about "value-added" ratings based on test scores -- and more recently, parents have mobilized as CMS rolls out 52 new local exams designed to size up student and teacher performance.

On Tuesday, Gorman sent employees a link to a five-minute video clip Tuesday, urging teachers to get more informed and engaged in the process of identifying effective teachers. He mentioned the new local bill but did not say it would eliminate the teacher-approval requirement. Instead, he said it would give CMS "freedom and flexibility  as a school district to make decisions about how we evaluate staff and how we compensate staff."

"We want to make sure we treat you as professionals and give you the information you need," he said.

Several teacher say that's not the impression they've gotten. One forwarded this list of concerns presented to Gorman and his staff by his Teacher Advisory Committee, with district responses in red. The responses "are degrading, demoralizing, and in a tone of voice that I have never read before. This is so scary to classroom teachers," the veteran teacher said.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely a rather transparent attempt to circumvent the current law to institute a program that will not work, and has not worked in other cities - pay for performance.

Anonymous said...

Pete,
Find a way to avoid the teacher's vote eh? Buy a Republican or a Democrat or a bogus data study? This isn't your beloved Michigan assembly plant model staffed by the UAW. You've now reduced CMS students to widget status monitored by Thinkgate robots.
Your video placed an emphasis on professional-
ism. Does this demonstrate it? You've killed the spirit of a system, alienating even the most loyal employee, while continuing to litter the wayside with talent. You've placed yourself in the national spotlight as a rising force in education no matter the cost, human or financial. Orwellian, truly Orwellian.

Wiley Coyote said...

5:08 of white noise....

"Carol Anne, don't go into the light!!"

Anonymous said...

Gorman says that the accreditation team stated that a weakness of CMS is that we do not have “common assessments”. You mean all these years Hopewell has had different E.O.Cs from East Meck. and East Meck has had different E.O.Cs from South Meck. How dare he speak to us about a budget short fall when he continues to spend large sums of money on policies that set our students further behind. If the public could experience how poorly our students perform at problem solving skills, public speaking, or formulating an independent thought of any kind, they would demand his job on the spot before he could demand one more test upon another student. But you know the sad part about it is teachers are not even paying attention to the video because they can not stand to see his face.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:06...

I don't disagree with you.

Cursive writing has all but died.

Communication skills have gone silent due to texting.

Why don't we just get kids to text their responses to the teacher.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
I tried to pull it up again and it was "a whiter shade of pale" from school. CMS must of pulled it.

Anonymous said...

I am a CMS teacher and was baffled by the video. I work 60 hours a week,how am I supposed to be more engaged? Am I supposed to be happy that it is finally coming out that you have been posturing to get control of our pay for a long time, but just now let us know about it. The PfP folks denied this was occuring last fall. Finally,what were you taking about when you mentioned "professionalism"? Interesting the video (spin) comes out as public outcry is mounting at East Meck and other places.

Wiley Coyote said...

Remember when all schools used the same books for each subject (math, English, history and sciences) and the class was a yearly progression, with testing at certain points during the year of what the student had learned at those points along the way?

Why not implement a program where the average expected understanding of the subject matter is defined by tests throughout the year and see where students end up?

If the baseline expected learning is a certain score, say an 80, then the percentages of students who score above that - or below it, would translate into a teacher effectiveness ratio. That way, the teacher is teaching the SAME curriculum as their counterparts in the district and getting rated on the same subject matter.

In the end, even these tests should not be the end all of evaluating teacher effectiveness but it can represent a "portion of their grade", just as student exams are a portion of their grade.

Educators are making this way too difficult.

Sad fact is, they've been doing it for 40 years.

Adrian DeVore said...

A clear sign of administrative desperation!

Anonymous said...

Suddenly very in your face and aggressive...maybe a way to step away from the CMS job into another??

Ann Doss Helms said...

8:13 p.m., I just checked and the video is still up. I've had inconsistent results getting audio but assume that's on my end.

Victoria said...

Bad, bad move, CMS. You don't have to deal with teachers unions here, so the least that you can do is make your stongest case to the teachers and let them vote on the record for this initiative.

dpeters said...

I guarantee that if they put it to a teacher vote it would fail and Gormon knows it. That's why they are trying to railroad this bill through.

As a former CMS teacher I can say that they extra $3000/year I was making with CMS (instead of the money I'm making at a nearby out of county school)is NOT worth putting up with this type of abuse.

therestofthestory said...

Two things. One, you expected anything less that CMS would get this nuclear option on the table knowing the feddback they had started getting with the failed experiments across the nation?

Second, the whole notion of VAR is simply code key that if I can get one of these inner city kids reading one addtional page over the year, the teacher will land a huge bonus. Whereas if a teacher gets a kid to cure cancer in a suburban school, they may not get threatened with their job the next year.

Ultimately this is a push to get as many teachers as possible in competition for teaching jobs in the inner city schools.

Anonymous said...

Why hold teachers accountable for parents that don't care about their kid's education?

You can lead a horse to water...

Anonymous said...

Not intending to incite a riot here but I guess I am confused as to all the negativity. Pay for performance... isn't that the way it works in every other business?! I mean, you do a good job, you get a salary increase, or a promotion, you don't, well you either stay at status quo or you get your walking papers. What is wrong with teachers being held to the same standards of accountability as everyone else in the working world? As with anything, there are those teachers who truly CARE, who go the extra mile and then there are those (and I know this for FACT) that simply ride out their time because, 1) they are tenured and can't be fired, 2) they're so close to retiring they're just showing up and counting days. These, sadly, are the teachers bringing home the largest checks! Is that fair to those who haven't been in the system as long yet are truly working their behinds off for our kids?! Someone enlighten me here because I really want to understand why this would not be a good thing. (Disclaimer: I am very much anti-Gorman/CMS, so I am in NO way sticking up for the system).

Current Teacher said...

Pay for performance may be considered how well you "get results" in other career fields, but in the educational field you have to work with a very different set of clients, i.e. the students. Comparing teacher effectiveness at schools with high poverty levels to schools with lower poverty levels (and implied higher parental involvement) is not fair.

It's like me comparing your effectiveness at using an abacus to my effectiveness using a high-powered calculator. I'll win every time, even if I'm no more efficient than you.

Anonymous said...

Pete needs to go

Anonymous said...

Pete may be the worse thing to happen to CMS in a long time.

Anonymous said...

I wish you teachers luck! I hate you have to deal administration trying to railroad you.

Anonymous said...

@12:50 - the other frustrating thing for the teachers is that they have not gotten a raise in 3 years. Many of them fear that Pay for Performance is nothing more than a way for CMS to enact cost savings by "restructuring" salaries by giving pay cuts with no corresponding raises for top performers.

Another downside to Pay for Performance is that the measurement only tracks improvement to the maximum of that grade level. So if teacher A has a class that last year had an average of 65 and improved them to 75, she is a hero and has a huge bonus. Teacher B inherits a top tier class with a prior year average of 98 and is able to keep them at a 98 average. She is graded poorly because she recorded "no improvement" and gets a pay cut.

A final point to Pay for Performance is that because teachers will now be competing against each other for pay raises, teachers within the same grade level will no longer be willing to share ideas and cooperate with each other to help ALL students. Instead, each teacher will set up a private fiefdom and hoard their good ideas to themselves. In a worse case scenario, some teachers may even resort to sabotaging others' work in order to make themselves look better.

CMS has done nothing to address these issues to the teachers, nor have they explained the criteria for rating teachers, and they have not set up any feedback to give teachers specific ways to improve these PFP ratings.

And because CMS can't use honey to convince the teachers to go to this plan, they want the stick to beat it in.

Anonymous said...

Peter Gorman, Please go back to where you came from.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and agree with comment above about why the negativity. I read the memo posted from the teacher, and saw nothing there to cause alarm. Those were straight-forward responses to questions. Obviously, no one likes extra tests but it is the ONLY way to measure what students are learning in a way that is consistent from classroom to classroom. Additionally, it gives some MUCH NEEDED support to instructional time for courses not covered in the EOGs and EOCs. (Those subjects are barely covered in some grades now. Ask your 3rd grader how much social studies he/she gets in a month.) This process is being developed to HELP us as teachers. We should be willing to give constructive feedback and not freak out about every new thing being introduced.

Anonymous said...

Everyday i grow more and more disgusted with CMS. Gorman you don't know what you're doing - and you're playing with people's lives trying to figure it out.

The sad things is you've almost ran your tenure as a superintendent in CMS, when you do leave, you will have created a bigger mess than when you arrived.

Anonymous said...

".....Several teacher say that's not the impression they've gotten. One forwarded this list of concerns presented to Gorman and his staff by his Teacher Advisory Committee, with district responses in red. The responses "are degrading, demoralizing, and in a tone of voice that I have never read before. This is so scary to classroom teachers," the veteran teacher said."

Um...I'm sorry; I read all through that five-page sheet of concerns and responses, and I dunno, am I just too obtuse -- I fail to see ANY tone in the responses in red resembling that described above.

While I tend to look more favorably on the parents' and teachers' side, and skeptically on the CMS administration side, in this and many other issues, I just have to wonder: is there just not a wee bit too much drama going on here on all sides? Please, show you're better at being mature and even-handed than the sorts of crackpot Observer forum posters who salivate at the chance to attack CMS and every other "liberal" big-city "left-wing" that's-what's-wrong-with-society target.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gorman will continue to abuse teachers until they stand up for themselves.

Teachers are working substantial overtime and not being paid for doing so. This is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Teachers should file charges with the US Dept. of Labor.

Anonymous said...

When are we as parents of CMS students and taxpayers going to get to vote on "performance pay" for Gorman, Area Superintendents and Board Members? I don't see Pete leaving this summer but if we are lucky and since his daughter will be done with Middle school in June 2012 hopefully he will leave then before she starts high school. That would be the best thing for CMS and the city of charlotte.

wmjsproul said...

If teachers have such a high opinion of themselves, why are they scared to death of performance pay. I was employed in the private sector and my pay always depended on my performance. My name is not anonymous.

Anonymous said...

What criteria is CMS using to judge band, dance, chorus and theater? Don't these subjects "perform" already?

How about football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, kickball, dodge ball, tennis, jump rope and hoola hoops? Is a coach whose team doesn't win the state championship "effective"?

52 tests on top of EOG's, EOC's, SAT's, ACT's and AP exams? Has the world gone mad?

Anonymous said...

I am mystified by most of these comments, and especially by the teacher quoted at the end of column. The comments in red were not remotely degrading. They were factual, clear, and addressed the concerns. Someone wrote "Pete has to go." Why? Because he's not happy with the status quo? Because he's willing to try innovative approaches? I say to you all: if you care at all then do your homework. Listen more, investigate more, and be a critical thinker rather than a knee-jerk reactionary. Pete did it, so it's bad! It's not how it always was, so it's bad! Please.

Anonymous said...

Peter Gorman is a pox on the behind of public education. He needs to leave CMS and the field of public education altogether.It is a disgrace to treat teachers with so little respect; gives new meaning to the much hated designation,"public servant".

Jane said...

Here is the petition if anyone is interested: http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/petition/

Anonymous said...

What kind of real name is "wmjsproul" since you don't need to remain anonymous?

In banking and finance, if you don't make money for your company you don't get promoted and you don't receive a bonus. Pretty straight forward. Only the cream of the crop rises to the top.

In education, teachers have to work with every kid who walks in the classroom. Under your way of thinking, a teacher could punt you out of his or her class if you can't add, subtract or read up to grade level. And why not if teachers deserve bonuses based on private sector methods of performance pay? Get rid of the stupid kids, the one's who don't care about their education, have ADHD, learning disabilities, etc.. and viola! Everyone is at or above grade level! And the US can be #1 in education and the envy of the industrialized world.

Anonymous said...

wmjsproul,
When your pay is based on variable that include but are not confined to students that come to class high, hungry, sick or so tired that they can't keep their eyes open yet we are supposed to have them preform in the same way that students who are well fed, alert from a good nights sleep, have parental support and expectations that they will do the right thing when they are in school, then we can talk about how performance pay for teachers and the private sector are equitable.

Anonymous said...

@1:58PM

Teachers have to teach different kinds of students. That is precisely the purpose of everything CMS is introducing...value added, pay for performance, tests...to make things more fair for all teachers, especially good ones. This is a good thing. Learn the actual facts.

Thank you @1:33 @1:40 and @wmjsproul for getting above the drama. The memo with the red text was not scary at all. I am a parent and a teacher, (back in classroom next year). It is embarrassing that people react in this way, saying Gorman has to go. Especially my peers in education. We are fortunate that we have a school leader who is innovative and wants kids to learn something. We teach for the kids. Not ourselves. If you are not willing to do your job, find a new one.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Gorman and the BOE continue to create actions which distance the teachers and the administrators. There is nothing wrong with performance pay initiatives however the way that these leaders have designed the process fuels distrust.In light of the way that early communications have taken place I'm not confident that if they get approval from the state to move forward that a fair and honest process will prevail. Teacher you have my sympathy.Let's call our legislatures.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see the comments have started to come back to earth.

While this may not be the most tactful method for evaluation, CMS has to determine who's with em and who's against em.

The comments in red seemed pretty level-headed. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and then another.

Anonymous said...

Is there any proof performance pay even works? PfP is nothing more than a sexy political talking point that sounds good from the mouths of politicians and Oprah. Give me a break. Teachers shouldn't have to check a natural instinct to protect one's livelihood at the door simply because they’re working on the behalf of children. I love all of this “In the private sector …” Schools AREN’T part of the private sector and shouldn’t be treated as such. When teachers can pick and choose the students with whom they work, then it’s fair to make these “private sector” comparisons. Until then, the “private sector” comments are nothing but useless dribble.

Anonymous said...

How can performance pay work when there are different levels of performance. Teacher effectiveness is much easier at say Providence High School were students are more motivated and parents are more involved than at lets say Garinger. Why would any teacher want to work at an underperforming school where student growth is out of your hands?

Anonymous said...

Shooting oneself in the foot comes to mind after reading about this "nuke option"... Did they really think this would pass the smell test with teachers?

Mike said...

Why is CMS unwilling or unable to engage the teachers in addressing this issue? What have they done in the past to create a viable, workable evaluation plan that all parties can agree to following?

I work in sales and even in that "clear cut" environment, the best salesperson doesn't always sell the most products.

I won't even try to claim teacher's should be paid in the same manner because you're comparing apples to dump trucks.

Anonymous said...

China will also now pass America in scientific research. Gee whiz, maybe we need to keep wasting mega billions on slow learners to get furthur behind in the world and ignore our brilliant ones ? China is loving it laughing all the way to the bank at dumb pc America. Down she goes ...


http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/mar/28/china-us-publisher-scientific-papers

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the REAL world folks! Ask your neighbors. Ask your friends. WE ALL get paid for our performances! There is no money to pay for poor performance. If you are a high performer you have no worries...if you are a poor performer you should be worried. Time to sweep out the trash!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who wonder about all the negativity expressed on this blog. Could the headline have anything to do with it? (Note that CMS is seeking the OPTION to bypass a teacher vote) Could the Observer style of reporting education issues have anything to do with it? Exactly who do you all think would make a better superintendent for a school system with a wide, wide range of students, that covers a huge area, that because of its student population must adhere to a multitude of state and federal mandates, and that is doing a better job of educating its minority students now than in the 80's and 90's.

Anonymous said...

Reading the document of questions and answers it becomes abundantly clear that the people trying the organize and implement this last minute provess have NOT BEEN IN A CLASSROOM IN at least 5 years.
1. The logistics of conducting these tests is simply ridiculous. Teachers MAY NOT administer a test for the subject they teach unless a "parent or teacher assistant" is present.
PROBLEM: Schools have a hard enough time getting parent volunteers to adminster the EOC's and EOG's...let alone an additional 32 tests.

2. Testing coordinators may have been given information on how to implement the process, but that is like giving 1 Mechanic from Cheverolet a manual to fix 1 type of car and then asking that mechanic to fix ALL cars at the same time?????

Ann I am glad you have finally started to write about and print the overwhelming LACK of SUPPORT for this doomed to fail process. Teachers are no longer collaborating on instruction, we are speniding all our time reading new memo's re;eased everyday from downtown and trying to create a strategy to handle this undaunting task. ONCE WE THINK WE HAVE IT FIGURED OUT, a new memo comes out with new procedures.

Wiley Coyote said...

Trent,

Why is it you (the board) can push for a nuclear option on performance pay but can't scuttle Bright Beginnings or whack all sports programs to save teaching positions?

...40 years of continued ineptitude..

working on year 41...

Great job "educrats!...

Anonymous said...

RE 3:04 No it has nothing to do with the headlines, the negativity being posted comes from teachers who have been at the mercy of this "DIKTAT" all year.

Anonymous said...

Is CMS trying to force teachers to unionize? Keep up the abusive behavior and see what happens. Everyone needs to remember the actions of Rep. Ruth Samuelson when the next election comes around. The biggest problem CMS has is the central administration. They're constantly chasing new gee-whiz program, layered in redundancy and failure, requiring myriads of administrators, supervisors, and superintendents. They need to start at the top to cut the budget.

Anonymous said...

RE: MARCH 31, 2011 3:03 PM

You have no clue what you're talking about. You don't get it - if you think the same "REAL WORLD" conditions apply to teaching, I challenge you to spend 1 week in a school as the classroom teacher. I have done it and I have been in the business world for a few years - there's no comparison. Your comment was just stupid.

Anonymous said...

If Gorman was paid on his performance he would be in the red every year that he has been here.

Anonymous said...

What happens when all the intelligent people get fed up with the low pay and BS they got to put up with and just leave the profession?

Anonymous said...

THERE COMES A TIME.....

There comes a time when an organization has to decide if the product it is selling has a future. We in North Carolina know this well. Textiles and furniture had no future. They did nothing. Off shore competition was too great. The industries left.

Charlotteans have an insulated view of the economy. We have two large grocery chains here: Food Lion and Harris Teeter. Depending on which side of the tracks you live-on, each represents where average people shop or the the affluent. Go out into the hundreds of Carolina towns decimated by long gone industries and you'll find millions, yes millions, of people who can't shop at all, with or without coupons.

Had the employees in textiles and furniture been allowed to vote on what to do about the basic problems they'd have probably said, “we can overcome the challenge through working harder”....and they'd have been wrong. The owner's of the plants, if they'd have lived with the vote, would have been ruined.

So what does CMS education and those defunct industries have in common?

Those industries first came to North Carolina from the up north because our education system produced minimally qualified cheap workers. I believe what CMS is doing today for a majority of its students is same. CMS is producing minimally qualified workers for non-existent jobs.

This is not the time to let the teachers vote for the direction to go.

Bolyn McClung
CMSdollars.com
Pineville

Anonymous said...

I teach in a private sector setting where every middle class to affluent kid wants to be in my class and every parent pays to have their kid in my class. I get paid to perform up to my clients expectations and standards. If I don't, I quickly lose my job. I have students at all levels of ability. In this ideal setting, my performance always meets and exceeds expectations. Therefore, I'm considered a highly effective teacher (with a nice shiny award plaque to prove it).

Now, take and dump me at a school with major behavioral issues, disruptions and other problems and maybe I might not perform as well. So am I an effective or ineffective teacher? Or, does variables including the teaching environment I work in matter?

If we're going to a pay-for-performance model, than every teacher should work in every kind of educational environment. Ardrey Kell one year, West Charlotte the next. Perhaps then we can realistically evaluate who is a good teacher and who is not.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for the length, but I have a few things to say.

My husband currently teaches in another county (THANKFULLY!). However if this goes through in CMS, it will soon follow other counties in NC. To follow up on the previous comment, my husband is seriously considering doing exactly that, leaving the profession all together. Now I am biased, but he is a great teacher. He teaches HS math and goes through great pains/lengths to present the material in new, fun, and relevant ways. He does not simply sit at an overhead and regurgitate the facts-anyone can do that. He also incorporates technology into his lessons because that's what the kids now-a-days relate to! He is a no nonsense, not there to be your child's friend kind of guy, but he CARES about whether or not your child is learning in his class. He has been told by parents at open house nights that many parents prefer their child be taught by him because "word gets around." Those comments make all the system crap worth it - sometimes. :)

More and more pressure on the teacher is absolutely not the answer. There is already PLENTY of that! However, there needs to be more pressure/support on the administrative staff to do their job, and part of that should be finding, hiring, and keeping talent! They need to be able to fire under performing teachers without the system having to spend millions of dollars to produce some "ranking" system based on a bunch of tests. The system and it's bureaucracy are making the profession unbearable. In my opinion, it is not smart to get a degree in education in today's world. You need to be versatile. If you want to teach, fine, but get a degree in the area you want to teach and then go get a certification. This way, if you find the system to be unbearable, you have options.

This is my husband's 7th year teaching. He has a bachelor degree in math and is almost finished with his masters in stats. However, the state is probably going to pass a bill that will no longer allow a pay raise to teachers who get their masters after a certain time (sometime this year I think) because they have "studies" that "show" teachers with advanced degrees are not more effective. If this bill passes and you already have a masters, you will be getting a 2% cut in pay. We are chasing the wrong people away from this profession. Don't you want people who are bright and motivated enough to pursue a masters degree to teach your children? This is only one very small piece of the puzzle.

He is not in it for the money (God knows!), but here is a little math lesson. As a 7 year teacher, who has not had a raise in 3 years, my husband makes about $35,000 per year. His health insurance is free through the state. Ok great. However, to add me to his plan, it would cost over $500 per month. To also add a child, it is something like $800 per month. Now for most families, the male is the bread winner. What family can afford to live on $35,000 per year and also pay $800 per month for health insurance for a wife + one. This is our currently dilemma. I work and have health insurance through my employer. However, when we have children, I would like to stay home, for at least a little while. If he continues to teach, this is simply not an option for us. He would only bring home about $1700 per month after taxes (rough numbers and including the $800 pre tax), AND this is if paid on 10 month scale. It's only $1416 per month if you spread it out over 12 months. What family of three can live on that reasonably? I realize that having a stay at home wife is a luxury, and there are many single parents out there who do it with less. My point is this- this is why you do not have more males in the profession...especially men in science and math. In those backgrounds, they can simply earn a better living to support their families in other careers without the headache of the "system".

Anonymous said...

Does it surprise anyone that a superintendent of a school (Pete) would lobby the state government for a pay for performance plan which would enrage teachers and parents? Why is the "leader" of a school district lobbying if not for his own gain? Especially off the backs of all others involved. Oh, and more thought, Pete is on pay for performance this year and the next 3 years before teacher's pay for performance is to kick in. How much will Pete make off the backs of the ones who are truely doing the work? Will his base pay be decreased first and then the PfP kick in? That's the way its being structured for teachers. For the next 3 years, Pete will be collecting larger paychecks while the classroom teachers and assistants are all on a pay freeze. Somethings doesn't smell right here.

Anonymous said...

Can I get a witness??

Wiley Coyote said...

Go out into the hundreds of Carolina towns decimated by long gone industries and you'll find millions, yes millions, of people who can't shop at all, with or without coupons.

Bolyn,

You'll have to quantify and/or clarify that.

Anonymous said...

Recently, I sat thru a PfP presentation...unbelievable how they are leaving plenty of room for loopholes...to avoid paying teachers anything extra...from the presentation,"even if students make over a year's progress/growth, it can't all be due to the teacher, there are many other factors that can lead to a student's growth" Then a visual to show that the teacher's part is a tiny-tiny fraction of the growth...again it just leaves them open...if they like you they'll find a way to show that you help students make progress...if they don't like you, they'll explain away all the progress your students make as attributed by some other factor...JUST LEAVE THE PAY ALONE

Anonymous said...

Think teachers get paid too much?

Have a look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAiWOnB0EZQ

Anonymous said...

See-A-Mess (CMS)

Anonymous said...

Why don't CMS teachers do what others around the world are doing? Band together, state their grievances/demands and if they are not met, fail to show up for work. You don't have to be a union member, you can use technology to be a unified force. What is government going to do, fire you all? They would be helpless and your demands would be met or at the least, a compromise would be reached. This is all part of the "blame all our problems on the public sector" syndrome that's the latest fad from the brain dead, Fox News political right. There will certainly be adjustments made to public employees pay and benefits but the public needs to fight to exempt CMS teachers from this onslaught. These individuals are certainly NOT over compensated. And bombarding students and teachers with a month's worth of tests, pretests and instruction to tests, is not helpful to students and not a sensible way to evaluate teachers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Gorman and Mr. Mury, could you please start teaching Civics and Economics at our local schools so you can show Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Qutar how one really undermines a democracy? Great job, Joseph Stalin would be a proud father today.

Anonymous said...

Dear idiots and knownothings.
1. Tenure doesn't mean you can't be fired!! We are not in New York, there are no rubber rooms you morons.
2. Teacher Unions have no right to collective bargaining, for all you below a 70 IQ "That means if you strike, you get arrested"
3. Pay for performance works for businesses idiots because you have the same inputs and outputs. People are slightly different "It is often referred to as personality"
4. The people most vocal about supporting Gorman will be the first to turn against him when he begins to loose the argument. "That point has already began"
5. My three year old knows more about education than Trent Merchant.

Anonymous said...

As an educator, I can honestly say we have to do something to get rid of the bad teachers. Educationnal research has repeatedly shown that the single greatest influence on a child is the effectiveness of the teacher in the classroom. Great teachers = positive achievement gains; poor teachers = regression and damage to the student. It is ironic that the teachers at my school that are screaming the loudest (and likely the same on this forum) are those that most need to go!

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that pay-per-performance is just the beginning. Where will they get the money to pay teachers who ARE performing? Think about it; no step increase for 3 years, cutting teachers and probably TAs. What will they do when they have to make cuts again next year? I think the district supplement is next...it would not surprise me. So glad I left this mess!

Anonymous said...

The comments in red didn't bother me much, but one really caught my eye. Apparently there is a failure to realize that every moment of instruction matters. Response when concern was expressed about more instructional time being lost, "we are not clear how the first week of April affects preparation for a test that does not begin until May 16." Really?

Karol said...

Way to tell your employees Dr. Gorman that they will have a say in pay for performance knowing the whole time that that was never the plan. This law gives noone but DR. Gorman control. The big idea is great but there is no fair way to assess all teachers with diverse student poulation and different socio-economic backgrounds. According to Dr. Gorman, this plan states that no matter if you are a first year teacher or a seasoned teacher, a teacher fresh out of college or a PHD. your educational training and skills make no difference in the classroom. With that being said, why does Gorman continue to pay (at quite an enormous expense) Harvard educators to come speak to CMS staff? Then does this mean DR. Gorman knows no more than a first year teacher?

Anonymous said...

CMS Teacher

I would trust this new gimick more if they would pay me for the old PfP gimick first.I have lost over $3,000 in bonus money these last two years at my high growth /excellence school.How can we spend $4 million on testing without paying teachers for the performance that has already been achieved?

Anonymous said...

There's a hidden agenda in this push for PfP: cutting teacher pay. The goal is to pay more teachers at a lower rate. If they establish a really low base pay, they are hoping that teachers at higher salary levels will retire or quit. And look for programs like Teach For America to increase the number of people they place in CMS.

Anonymous said...

I sat through a presentation from Dr. Gorman's office on PfP this year. The person could not even explain half of it, especially with the value added ratings. When a math teacher questioned the math involved in the value added ratings, the presenter ended up saying "I don't know" an awful lot.
Dr. Gorman, when you have a solid, tangible method for Pay for Performance that you can present to the teachers, and work WITH the teachers, you may get our trust back. I work at a school with close to 60 teachers and I know 12 who are working on transferring other systems, not because of the fear of losing pay so much as the witch hunt mentality this whole thing has taken on. These are the good teachers who love their students and their jobs, but they've had enough.

Anonymous said...

The 'nuclear option'...

wow...how special...

appears 'somebody' was paying attention to the Obamination of this country....

amazing...seems that if GORMAN wants something, he will employ OBAMA-REID strategies to 'get-it.'

Wiley Coyote said...

Hey teachers?

Those of you complaining about "hidden agendas" in the PfP scheme, lack of verifiable information and speculation?

Welcome to OUR world. The parent's world. We get the same garbage from downtown day in and day out, always wondering who's on first.

We have a clueless school board and an even bigger boondoggle downtown from Gorman, his admin henchpersons on down to principals in the schools.

I wouldn't speculate whether cutting teacher pay is part of an agenda, hopefully it isn't.

Teachers should be evaluated, but unless CMS can come up with a fair, equitable way to do it and not try to ramrod a process through just for the sake of coming up with something quickly, this whole thing needs to be sCRAPped.

Anonymous said...

You know it's sad that this is what our school district has come to. To try to circumvent the voting process is ridiculous because he knows what most teachers think is being a "poor sport" It's like a child who doesn't like what one parent says so they go to the other to try to get a better answer. I was willing to help him pack and move him to Chicago myself....my child could run the district better. Once his tenure is up, our district will be in worse shape than when he started. Please let there be someone that can come and save CMS before it goes into the sewer.

Anonymous said...

I can say that many teachers in my school are looking to jump ship as well. I know..."good, they weren't the good teachers, so leave". Sadly, many GREAT teachers are leaving. The bad ones are sticking around, so good luck CMESS.
Comparing corporate America to education? You idiots have no clue, so educate yourselves before you speak. We are talking pay based on "students", not pay based on "you". I am not too worried at this point, because I plan on getting out, just getting some experience to take to the next job. Thank you CMESS for allowing me to gain experience to move on to a better job.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen or heard anyone mention the flaw to this whole PfP mess.

Since the data is disaggregated into quartiles, a quarter of the teachers will be great and a quarter will be bad...and 50% will be somewhere in the middle.

So does that mean that Gorman will fire half the teachers yearly? That would mean that every year half of the teachers would have to go.

Shouldn't there be a bar that the students should reach instead of pitting teachers against teachers. Sigh. I am weary of this mess.

Anonymous said...

and btw.......if Pete keeps this behavior and lack of professionalism up, he will be teaching all of the children in CMS because the teachers will either find a new profession or move to other school districts leaving him to fend for himself.

Anonymous said...

I imagine I am saying nothing new here, that this is a complete betrayal of the process. I have yet to see ANY reform process succeed in any study that did not have buy-in from teachers. After years of assuring his teachers that this was a collaborative process, Gorman now plans a nuclear option because he doesn't like the fact that the troops on the ground don't trust him AND THE RESEARCH SUPPORTS THAT LACK OF TRUST.

Anonymous said...

Why do teachers think that they are dealing with a greater variety of variables in their jobs than the rest of us who are on a performance measurement system? You deal with students, I deal with Sales people. You deal with administrators, I deal with an ever changing cast of executives. You deal with parents, I deal with business partners and vendors. I deal with regulators, you deal with... I deal with changing market conditions, you deal with... I pay your salary through my taxes, you pay my salary through, uh... well you don't, I save my company enough money to pay for myself. You work 60 hours per week, I work 80, I work 12 months a year, oh right... Stop complaining and join the rest of us in the real world. - A former teacher

Anonymous said...

First, SHAME on you Becky Carney. You have lived up to your reputation.

Second, this model has FAILED everywhere it has been tried. The crack team in charge of this, lead by Andy Baxter, has absolutely NO answers about how this is going to work. Funny that Pete is "supposed" to be evaluated by these yet to be determined standards this very year and still no answers.

The central office has stated that they want this whole process to be transparent. Where is the transparency? How is Pete being evaluated? He has closed schools, gotten rid of thousands of employees over the last 3 years, and now he wants to place blame on teachers. Yep, stellar performance. Give him another bonus.

Pete states that experience nor advanced degrees have any impact in the classroom. Hmmm, let's then apply this same philosophy to another profession to test his hypothesis.

If you have a degree in biology, don't worry about incurring the expense of medical school and wasting time in residency, why not start practicing as a physician. The best thing is (according to Pete's way of thinking), you have the potential to be the best darn doctor out there with absolutely NO experience. On the off chance that a majority of the patients you attend have a terminal illness and most of them do not survive, then it's definitely your fault. Even though these patients contracted or were predisposed to this terminal illness long before you ever came into contact with them, you obviously should have been able to cure all their ills.

Back to reality, the whole concept is flawed. It takes a village. Until you put in place strong leadership (NOT Pete), supply great teachers with the funding they need, and involve the "absentee" parents who could not care less, there is no way of fixing the problems that this seeks to solve.

Get ready for a mass exodus of teachers from CMS. Emphasis on MESS.

Oh, and Becky, I'm sure you'll screw educators on the SHP bill as well so kudos in advance.

Anonymous said...

Pete, you suck, get off the stage.g

Anonymous said...

Since Dr. Gorman arrived, he has attempted to circumvent the pay scale that exists in this state. Teacher pay is determined by a state scale. To mess with that in any way should be criminal. The local supplement is the decision of the school board. By the way, the state of NC pays Superintendants $129,000 or so per year. I think Dr. Gorman's pay is well over $300,000. Thats quite a supplement. If CMS cuts out the local supplement for teachers they should cut out his supplement too! I am sooooooo glad I do not work in CMS!!

Anonymous said...

Are there incompetent teachers? Sure. Now show me the profession where the incompetence isn't equal to or worse than that of teachers. There aren't many.

Taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars because wall street execs, billionaires who own automobile industries, bankers, insurance companies, etc. etc. fail over and over again. Heck, look at the state of journalism: the incompetence there far exceeds that in those other professions.

Our economy has tanked. Is that the fault of schools? Please

The most important thing in this story is that board of education members -- most of whom are politicians and not at all qualified as educators -- somehow think things would be better if they made the decisions instead of the teachers.

I'm all for pay for performance, but the problem is no test score will ever be able to translate into the impact a good teacher has on a student...

blaming a teacher for the bad grades of a student who doesn't get enough to eat, who doesn't live in adequate housing, whose parents are uneducated etc. is like a restaurant blaming the patrons who don't have money to spend for their business going bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Want an example about how ridiculous our country has become when it comes to its criticisms of education?

One of our esteemed cable news networks on Wednesday reported on a story about cyber-bullying and one of the suggestions being considered was to sue the school district if one student -- at night, from his family computer -- was harassing another student online.

If people could be objective about public education, none of these crazy ideas like the one Gorman is proposing would even be considered.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering...

1. Can a teacher whose income is determined by the test scores of his students, recruit (select) his or her own students?
2. If a teacher's bonus/salary is determined based on how his/her class does in comparison to other classes at the school, does that mean one teacher shouldn't help another. After all, boosting the performance of a child in someone else's class might cost a teacher money and or their job.

3. Will the annual bonuses given to school administrators and/or their salaries be reduced if the district does not get a passing grade?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:23, so which McDonald's do you work at?

Anonymous said...

I think we need to check Gorman's scalp and see if he has 666 tatooed on it.

Ann Doss Helms said...

9:26, where does Becky Carney come into this?

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann gets a gold star for paying attention!

Anonymous said...

Isn't the goal to have highly effective teachers in all classrooms? So let's be optimistic and say we will have 90% of teachers at the highly effective rating in the next two years. (Remember Gorman has promised to train ineffective teachers to become effective teachers.) Where will the money come from to pay the majority at the higher rate? Seems to me there will always be a bell curve in the rating system just to make sure there is enough money to spread around.

Anonymous said...

If they are going to hold us accountable...then they need to stop mandating what we say and do in the classroom...let the teachers do what they do best and teach!!!!

If we are force-fed how we are to spend every minute of the day and what materials we are to use...and have scripted plans then only the admin should be held accountable...if they want creativity and success let us teachers teach!!

Becky said...

Pete, his ego, and his stooges on the school board need to go. As a former teacher, I was told by my assistant principal I "cared too much about the students," i.e., not enough about testing. As for Pete, I can assure you that he cares about teachers and students about as much as I care about what Paris Hilton ate for breakfast this morning.

Anonymous said...

When do we get to see Pete's PfP plan? Did the BOE approve it? Is he being paid for advanced degrees and years of experience? Where is the transparency?

Anonymous said...

If colleges were adequately preparing teachers to teach and not handing out teaching degrees to almost everyone without first passing rigorous entrance requirements, than maybe we wouldn't need to go to a pay-for-performance model. College music students can't major in music without passing an audition first. The better the music program, the harder the audition is to pass. Julliard is the most highly selective college in the nation. It is harder to get in here than Harvard. An athlete can't play college football unless they have the proven skills to make the team with the goal of winning a state or national championship.

Many colleges won't allow students to major in business administration unless they meet certain criteria even after they've been accepted as a general member of the student body. I believe this is the case at UNC-Chapel Hill. I know this was the case at the college I attended up North. Not everyone could be a business major even if you were already a student at the school. You made the cut or you didn't make the cut. Other departments operated the same way.

However, just about anyone can major in Education. This sounds horrible but my nephew who almost flunked out of high school with horrible grades and SAT scores is studying to be a teacher at a 4 year community college (different state). He'll receive a license as a certified educator - assuming he doesn't drop out.

The problem is, there are huge differences in the quality of college education programs with little consistency and oversight in standards within states and on the national level. A science teacher who graduates from Duke receives the same salary as a science teacher who graduates from Mississippi state community college (although Mississippi state could be producing better teachers - who knows?).

The Observer has reported some colleges here in NC produce better teachers than other colleges (on average). But which colleges are doing the best job is some big kept secret because all college education programs claim they are effectively preparing teachers to teach.

My spouse used to recruit for one of the major banks here in Charlotte for beginning associate executive positions. His company would only send her/him to recruit at certain colleges - Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, NC State, the Univ. of VA, Univ. of Penn, MIT and a couple of others. My spouse was also given a list of minority candidates to interview at certain colleges and was expected to hire a certain percentage of these students. Hires from these schools are rarely fired because they know the stakes and understand if they don't perform they will be quickly replaced and certainly won't be making a 6 figure salary in the future.

Maybe higher education needs to get it's act together and not accept every student who wants to be a teacher? Just a thought. Not a politically correct thought but just a thought.

I think this is where TFA comes into play. I'm not saying they are better teachers than teachers who have gone through traditional education programs because I simply don't know.

Anonymous said...

Well,
I tried to tell you all months ago what Pete was up to with all the lying about how closing schools was going to save teacher jobs and teachers would be allowed to vote on the pay for performance plan.

Ann, please investigate how many teachers at closing schools were not picked up in the Online Transfer Fair then correlate that with how many of them are paid near the highest point on the salary scale.

Pete is a desperate man seeking desperate methods to impose his will on this entire community. He is a transplant, caring nothing about our community, our children in particular, and our history.

Pete has ignited the tinderbox: pitting races against each other, the wealthy against the poor, the public sector and the Board of Education against teachers, teachers against administrators, and now teachers against teachers.

Now that there is a rising public outcry from parents and push back from teachers who are courageously "questioning" Pete's tactics, data, and motives, he has to go for the jugular quickly. A desperate man is a dangerous man.

Pete knew this was coming out yesterday so he told all the teachers to have a "work from home" day today so they would not be able to talk to many others today. Wrong move Pete, you've made us even angrier by demonstrating publicly how stupid you think we are.

Wake up Charlotte! He's destroying your educational system which in turn will limit your future economic prosperity. Don't let him get away with it while laughing at us "dumb" southerners. The time for politeness is over!

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:29 p.m.: Yes, you are right about how it will work. As outlined now, it's a percentile thing, so no matter how good or bad the group is as a whole, your reward would be based on whether you're in the top X percentile of that group. At least that's the value-added part. Not clear yet how the other factors, such as classroom observations, would play in to total comp.

Anonymous said...

I found this comment from a poster on the main Education section of the CO. It is too good not to be read again.

"We teachers have not been nearly as sheltered from the economic downturn as you seem to think. For one thing, we've been laid off in such numbers that it's not uncommon to see class sizes over 40, at least at my school.

More relevant to the current Pay For Performance initiative is this: Over the past three years we teachers have *already* been promised modest bonus pay in return for improving student performance. In my school, we have met the criteria for that bonus pay twice in the last three years, and each time we've been told by the district and the state, "Sorry. There's no money for bonuses this year." Instead our salaries were frozen and many of us were laid off. And now we're supposed to believe that these larger Pay For Performance bonuses will somehow magically appear. I'm not against Pay For Performance in principle. Frankly, I probably stand to benefit from it because I do my job very well. But I simply don't trust that the money will be there. Our salaries have been frozen for three years, we're being laid off in droves, and we haven't received the modest bonuses that we have already legitimately earned.

Supposing your boss promises you a bonus if you meet certain criteria. You meet the criteria, but he doesn't give you a bonus. Instead he freezes your salary and lays off three of your colleagues. Suppose he does exactly the same thing the following year. Then suppose this year your boss offers you a bigger bonus if you meet certain criteria, but this time there's the possibility of a pay cut as well. Meanwhile there are so few of your colleagues left that you're struggling just to do the same job you've been doing already...

See what I mean? It's not just the initiative in theory, but the reality of what's actually happening. The way I see it, the only thing that is guaranteed is that some of our salaries will go down. Trust needs to be rebuilt before PFP will have any buy-in among teachers".

Anonymous said...

Hey, Gorman, thanks for destroying the remaining amount of morale your subject had.

Anonymous said...

Wake up!!!


Pay for performance is really about money, power, and control. It can be traced back to The Bill Gates Foundation and Washington DC.

The plan in a nutshell.

1. Buy out struggling school systems with cash.
2. Gain control over the flow, delivery, and content of information of your kids education(including teachers).
3. Control the future our children and nation.

Please make your friends and family aware of this power grab against our children, teachers, and nation.

Please take time and read the article below. Then research "Pay for performance" and make your own conclusions.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2011/01/is-bill-gates-trying-to-steal-our.html

Anonymous said...

Pay for performance has not worked in ANY area of the country, no matter what name it goes by, it still has not worked.

I value my state salary - I don't want it put in the hands of a fickle group of parent/leaders with their own political agendas - particularly those who do not respect teachers' experience, degrees, or National Board certification enough to vigorously protect them.

This testing business is political and has nothing to do with learning, with children, or with helping teachers do their best with some semblance of administrative support in the face of very, very difficult circumstance. Most of us work very long hours outside the school day - and through the weekends. We need help, not a punitive pay structure that slaps our hand if a child does not or cannot perform.

And teachers need to have the right to vote about this - as we have a contract with the STATE, not the individual school boards. Do not take away our right to vote!


All of these new tests are absurd because testing has nothing to do with learning - doing interesting activities has everything to do with learning - and it's effortless if children are engaged in meaningful, interesting work.

This testing mania has everything to do with evaluating teachers - and giving inordinate amounts of tests to young children is CHILD ABUSE. You can't keep picking up the plant out of the pot every few weeks to see how long the roots have grown without killing the plant, let alone see it ever bloom.

PARENTS, PLEASE DO SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR YOUR CHILD'S SAKE, AND SPEAK OUT LOUDLY, WRITE TO THE SCHOOL BOARD, THE COUNTRY COMMISSIONERS, THE STATE REPRESENTATIVES IN THE HOUSE AND SENANT, THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND THE GOVERNOR TO BEG THEM TO STOP THIS MADNESS NOW!!!