In the shift from one federal education law to another, we need to know how the CCSS Machine is going to pay our teachers. More specifically, how the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) will reward, or punish, them.
In the picture above, you can see the comparison between the ESSA’s tiers of compensation and the one NC Dept. of Public Instruction’s Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson, says she created back in 2015. If you live in NC, this is of interest, for sure. If you don’t, it should encourage you to see what your Dept. of Public Instruction has in place, or in mind.
First, the Wedding Cake
I found Dr. Atkinson’s plan on a blog entry she posted February 2, 2016. You can find her plea for teacher pay: http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/statesuperintendent/blog/
Here is an excerpt, “We have yet to find a perfect way to pay teachers, and any system will have its weaknesses and strengths. However, last week I asked lawmakers to consider a wedding cake approach to teacher pay. A typical wedding cake has layers on which you build other layers. With appropriate planning of the first layer, you the can continue to add layers that enhance the cake.”
The wedding cake idea is what you see above on the left. Before Dr. A signs off her blog entry, she closes with this, “North Carolina’s economy is on the rebound. I hope that state lawmakers will take advantage of this valuable opportunity to use some of the funding now available to address the critical issue of teacher pay in our state. The time is now.”
So, if the time is now, why is she referring to a year old model?
If you click on the link embedded in her blog entry, you will see she says this is her plan. You will see the date is 1/26/15.
Looking at the closing quote above, you will see she is pointing to the NC General Assembly, aka: the state lawmakers. Oh really?! I guess the NC Senate calling her out on budget cuts and other questionable moves got left out. What do I mean? Here is an excerpt,
“In a Monday letter to State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey, Berger said the State Department of Public Instruction’s spending plan ignores the legislature’s intent.”
See all the rest of the ignorance: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2016/02/03/senate-wants-atkinsons-documentation-on-dpi-budget-cuts/
What is interesting is that Dr. A tweeted the same day her blog entry went out (2/2/16) about a 10% teacher pay increase, or roughly just under $600 million! But there’s more, no way to pay that almost $600 million with. This is a wedding cake implosion, Warriors! To access the article where you can find what I am referring to, see:
Why does it matter WHAT Dr. A says? As a seasoned anti CCSS Warrior, I know she is the President of the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) which owns half the copyrights to the CCSS (Common Core State Standards)! Yes, the CCSS IS copyrighted!
Will the ESSA keep the CCSS? Yes, via a slick name change to College and Career Readiness (also included in the Race to the Top applications/awards) and/or Challenging State Academic Standards! I have detailed all the name changes in previously published posts about the ESSA.
However, my focus is not to Dr. Atkinson, my focus, is what does the ESSA have to say about teacher compensation, recruitment, and retention?
How Sweet It Isn’t:
In the screen shot above, on the right, you can see I added all the ESSA teacher compensation pages. They are as follows:
Page 300-301: “SCHOOL LEADER RESIDENCY PROGRAM”
What is says:
“For 1 academic year, engages in sustained and rigorous clinical learning with substantial leadership responsibilities and an opportunity to practice and be evaluated in an authentic school setting; and ‘‘(B) during that academic year— ‘‘(i) participates in evidence-based
coursework, to the extent the State (in consultation with local educational agencies in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, that is integrated with the clinical residency experience; and ‘‘(ii) receives ongoing support from a mentor principal or other school leader, who is effective.”
Page 302 Begins the Section on ‘TEACHER, PRINCIPAL, OR OTHER SCHOOL LEADER PREPARATION ACADEMY’
What it says: Academies “may be a nonprofit organization, State educational agency, or other public entity, or consortium of such entities (including a consortium of States)”
Be sure to read Pages 302 and following for not only the repetition of student achievement being directly tied to teachers, but the restrictions also included. You will find on Page 306 what appears to be and suggests, all teachers, principals, and other school leaders must have at least a Master’s degree in order to not only teach, but receive compensation!
Page 347 begins the “Subpart 1—Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program”
This small section starts out with some heavy words. The U.S. Dept. of Education will ASSIST states in developing, implementing, improving, or expanding ‘comprehensive performances’ or human capital managing systems for teachers, principals, and other school leaders who raise student achievement AND close the achievement gap between low performing schools and higher achieving ones! There is also to be federal help in reviewing and studies to be conducted in the name of teacher/principal/school leader effectiveness! Read not only this page, but Page 348 for the exact words.
Page 349 At the top of this page, you will see how for-profit groups will also be factored into what Pages 347 and 348 lay out. At the bottom and continued on Page 350, you can see how the compensation of teachers, principals, and other school leaders will be ‘differentiate levels of compensation’. How will the levels be determined? Measured student progress/academic achievement. We’re talking bonuses, folks!
Page 351 This is where the Incentive Grants for teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Again, it is the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Secretary who will award competitive grants to ‘eligible entities’ and will be performance based pay. You need to see what qualifies as an eligible entity! Oh, the grants are only good for no more than 3 years (can anyone say ‘waivers’?) Those awarded grants will have to prove to the U.S. Dept. of Ed Secretary that funds are being used in a successful manner. Be sure to read not only Page 351, but follow through to Page 356. You will see all kinds of restrictions, objectives, and procedures which will need to be involved.
Page 357 (what you see next to the ‘wedding cake’)
Page 406 Enter the ‘STEM Master Corps’! “State-led effort to elevate the status of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching profession by recognizing, rewarding, attracting, and retaining outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need and rural schools.”
Warriors Against the Core, do I need to point out how STEM is a White House led agenda for the nation which has been using CCSS as the means to the end? Here is just one of my previous articles which will explain how STEM, STEAM, and CCSS are interconnected for a distinct purpose which is NOT education based, but workforce based! See: https://www.commoncorediva.com/2015/05/29/friday-special-post-part-3-stem-to-steam-ties-to-ccss/ (*Note: from Part 3, you can access both Parts 1 and 2.)
Be sure you read how a STEM Master Corps Teacher is determined and rewarded.
Treated a bit differently, will be the Native Tribal Americans as well as the Native Hawaiian citizens. The Alaska Native Tribes are also included toward the end of this big section. Their compensation, as well as how the ‘Educational Councils’ are to be set up and overseen by the U.S. Dept. of Ed Secretary, will begin on Page 699 and end on Page 736. What is interesting is that Workforce Development, Early Childhood Learning, Challenging State Academic Standards, and all the rest are included in this section.
Watch Out: Divorce Up Ahead!
Considering all the performance pressure our teachers are facing (I just met on last night who was livid, frustrated, and looking for answers), it will be even-more-so by the time (2017-18 school year) all the ESSA parameters are in place. Research has proved the number of pro CCSS Machine members providing much of the professional development (PD). Now, we can see that your compensation will be tied through attending even more PD activities. We can see ESSA will absolutely measure you by your students. CCSS has been doing this already, so I am not sure how anyone in Congress or for that matter connected to the CCSS Machine can tell us how ESSA will LESSEN this assessing you in this manner. We can see from this article, and other recently published, data mining for you will most definitely increase! The SEL (social/emotional learning) measuring will increase.
So much for a wedding cake image. There is NOTHING sweet about any of this. This is more worthy of a divorce decree!