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Perdue says teachers back performance pay proposal

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ATLANTA --- Quoting results of a survey completed by 20,000 Georgia teachers in December, Gov. Sonny Perdue said Monday that teachers overwhelmingly support his proposal for performance pay and that the leaders of education organizations should pay attention to their members.

"The leaders, I don't think, sometimes don't want to listen to what their members are saying," he said.

The governor met briefly with reporters in his office after three bills were introduced, all aimed at strengthening student performance through promotion of teachers according to their effectiveness. One, Senate Bill 386, sets the mechanism for basing pay raises on the improvement in student scores in addition to assessments from fellow teachers and the principal on classroom instruction. A second bill makes it unlawful to tamper with students' standardized tests that the teachers will be evaluated on, and the third strips the pension from any teacher guilty of test cheating.

Perdue's spokesman released the results of the survey conducted by The Parthenon Group which was distributed to every school system with the request that it be handed to each teacher. More than 20,000 returned responses, 15,300 from teachers and the rest from administrators.

While just half said that effective teachers are recognized and rewarded, 83 percent said evaluations were consistent and objective in their own districts. However, 63 percent said that ineffective teachers were not consistently removed from classroom jobs.

Just 47 percent said that "increases in salary should be driven by teacher effectiveness." On the other hand, 73 percent said that "teachers who distinguish themselves as effective should have career-advancement opportunities."

One aim of the pay proposal is to improve student performance by rewarding the educators who influence it the most. Under the proposal, teachers judged the most effective could earn as much as high school football coaches, according to Perdue.

Today, a teacher after 10 years earns about $48,000 compared with as much as $66,000 under his proposal, according to the state's application for the federal grant program Race to the Top.

Securing a share in the Race to the Top funds, an estimated $462 million, is a secondary goal of the performance-pay proposal, Perdue said.

Jeff Hubbard, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, criticized the survey as not useful because 100 percent of teachers did not respond because it was sent at a busy time as classes were wrapping up for the semester. He expressed concerns with the pay plan, and with taking the pension of someone in a test-tampering case.

"It's way too far to go with that," he said, noting that some instances where test integrity is compromised could be as simple as one student taking out a textbook during an exam.

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 02/09/10 - 05:34 am
Perdue is full of crap, and

Perdue is full of crap, and he knows it. One of the first things people do who are pushing something that is not widely accepted and is being criticized is to assert that a faction of the group you are pushing on is actually FOR the project. This makes the group take a step back and inventory itself, thereby giving the other group (i.e. Perdue) time to push his agenda on the masses. Can't wait until he is out of office. People, no matter what comes out of this man's mouth, he is NO FRIEND to the education system of Georgia! Do not buy what he is selling!

wordwright 02/09/10 - 09:53 am
Pay for performance results

Pay for performance results in more emphasis on teaching the test, in grade inflation, and in the need for remediation at the college level. Government needs to treat teachers as the professionals they are. Teachers need better pay--if the profession as a whole received better wages and more respect, the competition would be stiffer for teaching positions. Sonny needs to GO! To claim to be the "education gov" after he has stripped education the way he has is a slap in the face to every teacher in the state at all levels--primary, secondary, and post-secondary.

Fiat_Lux 02/09/10 - 06:44 pm
How did we not know this guy

How did we not know this guy was such a bozo when he ran for office? How could he be so completely out of touch with public education in Georgia?

Is it too late for a recall?

cristinadh 02/10/10 - 08:02 am
Sonny is such a clown...

Sonny is such a clown...

workingmom 02/11/10 - 10:42 pm
I will never believe the

I will never believe the majority of teachers agree to what the governor is proposing. To base teachers' salaries on test scores and/or classroom grades and performance is ridiculous. Teachers teach students who have wide ranges of abilities. Since these vary from year to year, school to school and even class to class, there is no way to level the playing field so that teacher performance can be assessed fairly. How does he define teachers who influence student performance the most? Is he looking at grades and standardized test scores alone? Although these indicators are extremely important, they are certainly not the only factors that make a successful teacher.

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