Going through their recommendations one by one:
– Allow mentors more time during the day to work with new teachers.
I like this idea but are we now going to have our best teachers out of their classes? Who is going to teach their classes?
-Offer substantive incentives, compensation, rewards or recognition to improve the quality and pool of effective mentors.
– Seek local and national foundation funding to recruit and train more mentors.
Here is the thing about mentors, the current merit pay system disincentivises teachers and mentors from helping each other. Why would I want to help another teacher and share my secrets if it is going to cost me money, furthermore I have to spend all my time on my classes to make sure I keep my job.
– Use a consistent evaluation tool and ensure all principals and other administrators performing teacher evaluations undergo extensive training.
– Hire teachers by May to get the most effective ones.
– Seek opportunities to pay highly effective teachers more money and give them more autonomy.
Teachers aren’t bankers, and study after study says merit pay doesn’t work. Now more autonomy is something most teachers could get behind.
– Base 30 percent of the teacher evaluation on multiple unscheduled classroom observations, 10 percent on student feedback and 10 percent on teacher initiative in professional development. The remaining 50 percent is governed by state mandates.
Having kids evaluate teachers is ridiculous, likewise is basing evaluations on professional development, teachers may not need it or relative ones might not be available, plus prof dev here in the county is spotty at best.
– Advocate that Florida lawmakers revise the statute governing notification to teachers who won’t have their contracts renewed, from March to May.
You know who doesn’t get reappointed? It’s not always the “bad” teachers it is just as often the teachers that the principal for whatever reason doesn’t like.
– The process for getting rid of ineffective teachers should be completed within 180 days or less.
Nobody wants ineffective teachers in the classroom but teachers should be supported and given the chance to improve before being let go.
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-07-30/story/northeast-florida-coalition-offers-recommendations-increasing-teacher#ixzz227tyxjW1