Thursday, January 15, 2015

CMS unveils plan to pay 'highly effective' teachers more

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has outlined a plan to give some "highly effective" teachers more money.

Of course, it leaves plenty of room to debate whether it is a fair and effective way to motivate people in the classroom.

The whole thing is tied in with a state law that requires school districts to come up with ways to give their best teachers a bonus. To qualify under the CMS proposal, teachers would have to meet these criteria:

  • Teach at one of the 14 consistently underperforming schools that are part of the Beacon Initiative developed this school year.
  • Be at least proficient in all leadership and student learning standards (I and IV for those on the inside)
  • Have at least one rating above proficient
  • Meet some attendance benchmark. This wasn't outlined at the meeting.
It's unclear how many teachers would be eligible for a bonus. CMS staff who presented the plan said they hadn't run the numbers. The actual award will depend on how many teachers qualify.

The result is likely to be disappointing to a large percentage of the district's teachers. But the district doesn't have a huge pot of money to work with.

The state estimates having $1 million to distribute. CMS generally makes up 10 percent of the state in everything, so the district plans to give out about $100,000. The actual numbers could vary because the awards are funded by license plate sales.

School boards are supposed to send the plans to a N.C. House and Senate committee by Thursday.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

CMS and its efforts to identify highly effective teachers is window dressing built upon loads of false data. Not every teacher will even have a shot at this. If you are an art teacher for example your odds of being declared high effective are minuscule if non-existent! If you are a science or math teacher, even a poor one, your chances are better than the best art, English or business teacher. Keep on CMS, soon you will back to the good old days of begging teachers to come to CMS.

Anonymous said...

Is there any possibility that CMS can be auctioned off and sold in pieces?

Anonymous said...

Another way to blow a million, keep up the fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

CMS Talent development department = Talentless looking for the talented!

Anonymous said...

HUGE POT OF MONEY ?

Bring Back :

Vision Benefits
Dental Benefits
80/20 Healthcare Plan

Just another example of smoke and mirrors from CMS and the state. The game is rigged and even the new teachers can see what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Bless their hearts.

Anonymous said...

The "Best and Brightest" no longer work for CMeS !

Anonymous said...

So Andrew,

The only way a CMS teacher can get a bonus is to work at one of the PROJECT LIFT schools ?

Andrew Dunn said...

Anon 5:38, Beacon is a slightly different list of schools but does include a few LIFT schools. And yes, for the purposes of this program, you do have to be in one of those schools.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
ANOTHER CHANCE TO BE CRITICAL OF CMS HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT.

Tuesday night’s presentation by CMS HR of their plan to reward ‘highly effective” teachers a bonus was a disaster. A series of questions by District Five’s Eric Davis revealed not only the absurdity of the plan but of HR’s inability discuss the details.

Mr. Davis’ asked many important questions. He got no answers or really bad ones. The attempted answers were so terrible that the Board Chair hand to break-in with a plausible excuse.

Let’s look at some of the questions.

NOT ALL HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEACHERS ELIGIBLE!
After the staff said that only teachers at BEACON schools would be eligible, Davis asked if there weren’t other schools that would have highly effective teachers. The answer was that there was likely so little money that it was more efficient just to narrow the universe of teachers to those schools. By the way, the staff was aware that other schools had highly effective teachers.

WHAT IS THE RANGE OF BONUSES?
Davis asked how much each teacher would receive. No answer. They hadn’t come prepared to answer that.

HOW MANY TEACHERS?
Davis asked how many teachers would be eligible. Answer: didn’t know. Eventually one of the staff guessed: 200.

Davis asked if the bonus pool was one-time or recurring. At least that got sort of an answer. That was that since the funds come from the sales of special automobile license plates that it could be recurring but the amount was unpredictable.

MORE BONUSES FOR LIFT TEACHERS!
District member Thelma Byers-Bailey unknowingly threw gas on the fire by asking if the Project LIFT schools in BEACON would be eligible. The answer was “yes.” That is just what the rest of CMS teachers didn’t want to hear: that LIFT teachers were now eligible for more bonuses.

PAY
The last comment from Davis was why he asked the questions. He said that since they were talking about teacher pay, it was important that the details be known. I think he made his point. Staff offered no details.

WORST PRESENTATION IN THREE YEARS OF BOARD MEETINGS?
I’ve heard a lot of presentations by CMS staff. This ranks right up there with the Board being told that 95% of all families had Internet access and with a member of the executive staff promoting Bring Your Own Technology when no CMS school had the wireless network to support it.

NEW HR DIRECTOR.
Several years ago when CMS was between HR directors, Ann Clark showed her understanding of HR when she took charge and helped the district to one its best opening days in terms of vacant teacher slots and bus drivers. I hope the Board will let her move quickly to hire a seasoned and accredited HR leader quickly.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Anonymous said...

You'd be hard-pressed to find a school within CMS which isn't likely to lose a quarter of its teachers within the next two years - the demands are insane, teachers are micromanaged and the few remaining teacher assistants are spending a great deal of time "teaching" so that teachers can continually test and collect data on individual students.

The way children, particularly those with disabilities, are treated in so-called struggling schools is appalling and without a doubt, illegal. Johnny still can't read, and no one has the time to teach him. Poverty is spreading like a disease in NC, yet nothing's being done by our legislature to reverse the trend - quite the opposite.

Violence against teachers has ramped up to an extraordinary degree, yet it never seems to make front page news in the Observer when there are gang fights at Independence High or when four teachers (including one who was body-slammed) are hospitalized trying to break up fights such as the one at Harding High just before Christmas.

Conditions within 80+% of CMS schools are horrendous, yet there's an ever-expanding dead weight middle management (bizarrely categorized as "Instructional Staff") which never sees the inside of a classroom ready to bring the hammer down on anyone who doesn't drink the Kool-Aid.

Principals by and large are petty despots who have become untouchable by virtue of their ethnicity and/or connections. The Peter Principle, whereby the least competent are promoted to positions where they can do the least harm, is standard operating procedure within CMS.

There are still many dedicated, nurturing teachers within the district, but the lifers are counting the days and everyone else is looking for a way out. There are no words to express how low teacher morale is, and pitting teachers against each other for another token which will likely never materialize will only serve to further disenchant anyone still on the fence about leaving.

Anonymous said...

Hey, teachers, how'd you like those raises Battle's lawyers got? You've been strangely silent on that, but I don't blame you. Battle would surely carry out another vendetta. Bet Ann Ckark thinks she's got you fooled, though.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 4:58: If only an activist investor could get a seat on that board. I know just how he/she could break it up so that at least two of the pieces would be much more in demand.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. The state wants CMS to spend time identifying the top performing teachers of of 10,000 teachers in the district to distribute a bonus pool of $100,000. The best plan would be to hold a lottery and distribute the money to 10 winners.

Anonymous said...

Boylan, the only bright spot in what you described is that it looks like the Wicked Witch of the West's coup is going to get her the school district she deserves.

Anonymous said...

CMS is seeking to fill fifty teaching positions at LIFT schools alone for the coming year. Apparently the "highly effective" teachers at LIFT schools are still running for the exits, hence the bonus for showing up to work.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my last response was meant both for Bolyn and Anon at 6:05.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...think there might be a little grade inflation when evaluating teachers at Beacon schools now? Suddenly the school board's Oprah: "You get a check, and you get a check, and youuuuuu get a check!!!"

Anonymous said...

ANDREW

Could you give us a breakdown of the HR Directors for CMS over the past 10 years or even for the past 5 years. I think you will see a revolving door of Directors from public to private sectors. Directors from experienced to down right inept. There is not a more overpaid and inept staff over at the Ivory Tower. The Board meeting just showed the entire city what every veteran CMS employee has known for years. This is not counting the millions paid out in lawsuits (Community House Middle School Teacher)from the total mismanagement of this department. Peel the onion a little and you will find a lot Dunn.

Anonymous said...

4:55

I was a specialty area dance teacher for over 28 years (public, private, non-profit & college level) before recently becoming a 5th grade math and social studies teacher. One of the primary reasons I chose to work for the successful charter school network I do is because our curriculum places a high value on the arts. My 5th grade students take music and art led by a certified teacher 5 days a week. The arts at my school aren't relegated to a part-time cart but considered an integral part of the learning process. While my Social Studies curriculum covers the topic of linear perspective related to Renaissance art, students draw linear perspective pictures in art class. Yesterday afternoon, I held 5th grade auditions for Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" which students are studying in Language Arts and Social Studies.

This being said...

My individual charter school is on an intentional mission to raise math scores which aren't up to par with other charter schools in our network. The pressure for me to perform "more effectively" is on. As any newbie teacher will tell you, it takes a minimum of 3 years for any teacher to be fully on their game. This is my first year teaching math. I wake up in the middle of the night worried about the kid who isn't "getting it" as well as the kid who is "sailing through".

So, are the odds of me being declared a "highly effective" teacher after 6 months teaching math greater than my odds of being declared a "highly effective" teacher after decades of success teaching the arts? You bet.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Andrew,
Your article on red flags in Romare Bearden Park for poop was a suitable analogy for CMS and HR. A shame you had to cover two similar events in one day. A silent show of red survey flags (or crime scene tape) at the next BOE meeting by the audience would set the tone for the public's regard of competence in CMS.

Anonymous said...

Alicia

Why dont you do your family a favor and dance your way down to the nearest truck driving school. Better yet,why dont you teach your children welding skills. These are jobs that pay at least twice your salary with a substancial better benefits package

zippy said...

So this possible pay raise is only in the cards of a handful of cms teachers? Huh?? I guess the kids and teachers at the other schools are not worthy of such a gift.

Anonymous said...

7:44

You have a legitimate point and the world certainly needs good truck drivers and welders. My high school boyfriend's family owned a successful truck driving business that delivered hay bales to farms up and down the east coast (Paley Brother's). My high school boyfriend went on to become a successful attorney and charter school teacher but not before his father sold his truck driving business and farm land for more money than my father ever made as a pubic school superintendent.

Yes, there's money to be made driving trucks!

Alicia

Anonymous said...

@7:44: This obsession with turning teachers into truck drivers and welders is beginning to resemble some bizarre fetish. "Flashdance" came out 33 years ago, man - it's time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Summer of '79

And my high school boyfriend's biceps at the end of the summer after loading and unloading bales of hay all day on giant trucks were solid as a rock. OMG.

But I digress...

Alicia

Anonymous said...

8:02

Honest to God, I've never seen "Flashdance". Was there a truck involved? I did enjoy "Fame" although my favorite movie in high school was a French film entitled "Diva".

Alicia

Anonymous said...

"Diva" involved mopeds, not trucks.

Alicia

Shamash said...

So how many points does a teacher get for "looking like" their students?

I'm sure that isn't on their numerous published checklists, but I can't help but wonder about the unofficial checklists.

I hope someone posts photos of the "winners".

Just to see if there are any "disparate impact" issues.

Anonymous said...

Cult "classic" still to die for 33 years later...

"Aria from Diva" - Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez.

Alicia

Shamash said...

"my favorite movie in high school was a French film entitled `Diva`. "

Mine was "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

About 15 minutes into the movie, the auditorium was mostly empty, knocking my former favorite, "The Exorcist" down a notch on my list.

I never cared much for crowded auditoriums.

Anonymous said...

Shamash,

Ah, the sound of chainsaws...

All while I was sitting in an empty auditorium listening to an Aria...

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Assembled my "THESPIAN CLUB" yesterday.

A student arrived this morning super excited to be part of my "LESBIAN CLUB".

Because there is never a dull moment in 5th grade...

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

Number of credits cut to ensure more of my students graduate - CHECK

Give students who turn in at least a blank sheet of paper with their name on it a 50 - CHECK

Give students who would have gotten a B, an A on the new 10 point grading scale - CHECK

Don't assign homework because studies have shown too much homework causes little Johnny stress and doesn't help him learn - CHECK

Okay, I've just become a effective teacher hitting all the status quo parameters, so where's my bonus?

Shamash said...

Alicia,

Both are "cult classics still to die for".

Anonymous said...

YOU CANNOT be an effective teacher in the eyes of CMS unless you teach at a BEACON / LIFT school.

Tax dollars well spent. Great job Battle. Maybe you and the other "market adjusters" can get more and more raises on the backs of MOST frontline CMS teachers.

Anonymous said...

so why exactly are the lawyers getting raises? I presume because they are busier than ever.

Wiley, letting students "off the hook" for behavior issues this year at CMS schools. CHECK

Anonymous said...

2 hour school delay…

Wiley,
I was repeatedly reminded in my post-bac licensure program that teachers often have lower expectations for poor minority students which is the reason we have achievement gaps. Teachers or entire school systems?

Because professional educators can't possibly think for themselves...

This week, I had a 5th grade student who scored a 38 on a math quiz covering fractions. I didn't raise his score to a 50 but instead ripped up the quiz in front of him, took him out in the hallway and worked with him independently for 30 minutes before letting him retake the test. He scored a 90 the second time around on a 7 point scale prior to me sending him home with extra homework on the topic as reinforcement. Effective or ineffective?

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately teachers will be obsolete soon enough due to more implementation of technology use(and instruction)via technology within CMS.

In the K-8 domain, there is a lack of evidence that introducing technology into the classroom improves academic performance, yet this school district is spending millions doing exactly that. And there are studies that show that academic performance actually decreases with increased screen time.

The story can be different in high school, when technology is used as a tool for learning. But most commonly teachers are handed equipment and policies from administrators who have even less of a clue than the teachers.

Unfortunately in the real world of K-12 education I think that effective use is not very common.
And we haven't been asking the right questions. How is brain development altered by the use of technology at early ages? What is the role and function of education when we can answer 90% of our questions with a query to our smart phone within a few seconds?

When knowledge is essentially free and accessible 24/7, what is the role of education and the role of technology in education? In my opinion, it is to teach our children how to have real thoughts and experiences, to learn to communicate, to play, to think critically and to problem solve without it.

omg said...

anon 9:32 Agree, as a teacher I have noticed that more and more students don't like to read, and not just those with a learning disability. Comprehension isn't as great and I see fewer and fewer students who like to read just for the joy of it, or have the attention spans to read for long periods of time.

The technology devices have almost created an educational apathy with students, if they can't complete a task within a few minutes they aren't interested.

As an art teacher, I would say that manipulating things in virtual reality is no substitute for actual 3 dimensional space either. That discrepancy was so pronounced that I considered doing my dissertation on it but the problem was who to use as a control group.

Agree, there is NO substitute for the REAL world and real experiences for our children.

Anonymous said...

At some point you have to 'learn how to learn' and that seldom happens in front of a computer screen.

Wiley Coyote said...

Alicia,

You should be fired for daring to be aggressive with a student's learning capacity by taking it upon yourself to say screw the status quo, this kid is going to learn fractions my way.

....sarcasm intended.

Anonymous said...

Which public servant would you want to be teacher or police?

The public respects neither and pays them among the lowest salaries in America.

Anonymous said...

CMS did NOT unveil a plan to pay Highly Effective teachers more.

CMS unveiled another plan to continue to drop millions of taxpayer dollars into the black hole of no return. One that has not shown any measurable results for a decade.

Anonymous said...

Wiely,

Why Art and History matter in public education...

Growing up, I recall many dancers who risked their lives in an attempt to escape artistic status quo practices in the Soviet Union. One of the artistic directors with the Charlotte Ballet shared an interesting story with me about meeting Rudolph Nureyev. America's history of dance includes many stories of artists fighting their way to freedom through expressions of defiance against the status quo.

Martha Graham pretty much flipped Adolph Hitler the bird prior to the Olympics in Berlin.

I believe in being a team player, except when I don't.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

CMS =

Communist
Making
System

When does every student deserve to get a 50 without doing any work? Only in a communist environment do you not promote competition. Not every student needs to go to college and if they cant graduate then they should have the opportunity to be taught a trade.We are doing our students a great disservice by handing them everything instead of teaching them something.

When do we only give the performance bonus to a minority of the teacher workforce? The best and brightest are excluded unless they work in a certain socioeconomic area of Charlotte.Our entire school system is rapidly evolving into a communist structure led by the social engineering leaders of CMS.

Anonymous said...

so what was the verdict about student's dropping AP classes at AK? Did CMS and the College Board allow this to happen? Big news if they did.

Anonymous said...

So glad to read about personalized learning. My daughter (and I) like the old way of teaching because it was much clearer what the task at hand was, less computer screens all day at school, more interaction with a human teacher and, what I see happening as a parent and volunteer is children stay with the lessons and projects that are easy and that they are comfortable with. Do not believe everything your administration is trying to shove down your throats parents. Of course kids (mostly boys) love it because they are playing on computers, and doing games throughout the day. This will not work for the entire system, and frankly it's not working for my daughter.

clarity said...

In the Personalized Learning model technology defines
the learning methods. It is absolutely backwards — rather than pedagogy defining if and what technologies are used,it is technology often driving the choices for learning. It is also, ironically, antithetical to a personalized approach because the technology is driving decisions, not necessarily the student. The term personalized learning should be called Student selected learning or Computer mediated learning.

Anonymous said...

Frankly the personalized learning doesn't work for the majority of kids. There is no direction and we hear teachers don't like it either. Most parents hate it. What is the reason kids need their own technology - do play mine craft? Waste of parental money to fund this!

Anonymous said...

sounds like the big winners in personalized learning are the computer software companies.

Bambam said...

as cms continues to experiment with the new personal learning model, will they continue to offer more traditional learning schools for those who want that for their child?

Anonymous said...

So what's the point of sending our children to a school house if technology is going to be the "teacher" of the future? Seriously, the kids can sit at home and watch Kahn academy videos.

Anonymous said...

Nice PR story on Kennedy middle-sorry cms -not going to work! Parents in 28277 aren't going to voluntarily send their child there for the stem magnet. We cannot wait to escape personalized learning. Plus who I'm their right mind who send their child to a school where more than 80% are below grade level. Try again. How about just fixing the boundaries for CHMS? Move Elon park to Robinson-they will up meet up at AKHS.

Anonymous said...

Communism is correct.The high school teachers and administrators are so far left if feels that way. I know of one teacher who will not accept anything from the FOX News source. Just like communism they only want one source or propaganda information to share with the class.

Heck, was it any different with the Hitler Youth Program ?

Jackie said...

As a teacher I am actually encouraged by reading some of the comments on this blog about technology use in schools (this can be applied to home as well).

We are reaching a new frontier of school and family dysfunction if we allow prolific and unrestricted use of technology to continue. Technology is great (in the classroom) when used as an infrequent, supportive tool. What I see happening with our students is that they rely on it now for all the answers, there is less critical thinking and problem solving with my older students, a lack of interest in reading, constant tech arousal and inability to self-regulate, and a consumption, dependence and self-absorption on "social" aspects of life.

We are not preparing our children for life by handing them a tech device. It is a myth if we think this is helping our children. What it's doing is killing their drive, motivation, creativity and their ability to truly learn.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, teachers are a mixed bag (left, right and middle). Principals at most schools in CMS are pawns. It's a giants' bureaucracy. It needs to be broken up. Schools should be community based. Why should good teachers be excluded because of what schools they teach in. Are some children more important then others? Are some schools more important then others? Only bureaucrats can come up with a plan like this. It's kind of like the pay plan that teachers were given this summer. Teachers that have shown loyalty and stuck with NC though hard times received almost nothing. New teachers received the bulk of the raises. Only politicians and bureaucrats can come up with such ideas.

Anonymous said...

Giant.. I need to back to my desk top.

Anonymous said...

Anon at at 7:54 a.m. Jan 16:
Because SOME bishops can deliver lots of votes come election time? Wouldn't do to offend daddy, so maybe "junior" gets by with doing whatever he wants? Like some of CMS' students?
Just a theory.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:32 Jan 15, I thought maybe the school board took a field trip to Romare Bearden Park.

Anonymous said...

ANON 9:13, You wrote the following this morning:

It's kind of like the pay plan that teachers were given this summer. Teachers that have shown loyalty and stuck with NC though hard times received almost nothing. New teachers received the bulk of the raises.

Sadly is an issue in the private sector also. In the high tech world, the joke is you have to leave for another company and then come back to get more than a cost of living raise. Once your in CMS, there are limits to the amount of annual increases that can be given....

Anonymous said...

This is typical of CMS, which is dominated by former union boss Mary McCray. Instead of using meaningful criteria to grade teachers, they're awarding to bonuses to teachers who simply agree to teach at schools with lots of minorities. Real pay-for-performance is put off for another decade to benefit a different generation of students.

Anonymous said...

This pay for performance plan is a joke. It's not a plan for a majority of the teachers, only a select few. There are effective teachers all over the sytem, what about them?

Sure wish more teachers would chime in on the blog spot.

Shamash said...

"Sure wish more teachers would chime in on the blog spot. "

They do so at their own risk, of course.

Either anonymously, where their jobs are safe, but their credibility is in question, or with their real identities where it is best to self-censor and not get too controversial.

Social media is a dangerous place today for those who depend on their jobs for a living.

Anonymous said...

Parents need to be parents and stop giving their children phones, tablets and mobile devices with internet access to amuse them. Perhaps it is time under 16 years should not be allowed on the internet without supervision, for their own safety, and due to the amount of time they spend online. They can use books and games or generally learn life skills like cooking, managing money and such. The problem is parents will not say "no" and want to be their kids friends and also use the internet as babysitters.

Anonymous said...

""Sure wish more teachers would chime in on the blog spot. "

They do so at their own risk, of course."

I got out of the CMS mess almost two years back. While I don't want to come across as being boastful here, I was the best teacher in my building. My students were far and away above the others at my grade level.

My principal and his facilitators, however, found non-issues to pick me apart on and even made up fake parent phone calls--this despite the fact I knew the parents in my room very well and received nothing but support for them.

That liar of a principal drove me away from the profession. He probably knew he would have to pay me more down the line and also didn't want the CMS Bar of Mediocrity set higher, especially since his favorite teachers were the ones who didn't care about their kids.

The worst part? He's angry that some of the parents continue to bring me up at his school, saying how I was a better teacher than anyone else their kids have ever had.

How about we focus on giving teachers a pay raise by getting rid of ineffective and manipulative facilitators and principals?

Anonymous said...

12:20am

thank you for your honesty. Principal at my school is trying to make a name for himself and is looking to move up the ladder at all costs.