$125,000 salary for Middle School teachers

TEP Charter school has figured out a way increase teachers' pay dramatically without changing state funding. Here's how they plan to do it:

1. TEP does not employ Assistant Principals or Supervisors other than the school Principal.
2. TEP does not incur professional development fees required to pay teachers or to purchase professional development materials or services.
3. TEP does not contract out Instructional Services to educational consultants or other organizations.
4. TEP does not employ a variety of administrative and support staff such as an attendance coordinator, a parent coordinator, or a discipline dean; instead each TEP teacher leads one whole-school process, program or project.
5. TEP does not incur any extra personnel costs for extended-day and other student activities, since these are led and staffed by TEP teachers.

Having worked in some tough schools, it's easy to come to this conclusion:
"The problems in our schools are primarily related to unruly, undisciplined children and bad parents, a subculture that denigrates education. All the money in the world isn’t going to change a thing."
Kstudio, NY

But what do we have to lose? TEP is not asking the state for more money. They are simply revising the organizational structure.

There are other aspects of their plan that also make a lot of sense:
Partner teachers share all prep periods in common. TEP’s professional development structure is based on an observation model in which each grade has 3 pairs of partner teachers (partners rotate each quarter). Each teacher observes his/her partner teacher 1 period per day and is observed by his/her partner teacher 1 period per day. Sharing common prep periods allows partner teachers to debrief the observations and plan lessons together.

I think that one of the fundamental problems in education is that the accountability system is flawed. I can't speak for all teachers but I know from my own experience that I am a much more conscientious teacher when I am in a team teaching situation. Not only do I learn a lot by seeing different approaches but being observed by another professional raises the bar on my own teaching. I believe that the majority of teachers are hardworking and responsible but the days when we give improvised, sloppy lessons would decrease dramatically if daily observation was built into the schedule. Giving and receiving feedback from colleagues on a daily basis would be vastly superior to the system currently in place where principal and vice principals observe once or twice a year and have very little time for meaningful, constructive criticism. Not only would it be a million time more effective in terms of accountability and professional development but it is also cost effective. This is one of the ways that TEP is able to eliminate the need for vice principals.

Here is their schedule:

Teach until 6:00 everyday for $125,000? Hell, I'd do it for
$120,000 ;-)
Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that this works...and spreads.

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