Perdue proposes educator rewards

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ATLANTA - Top high school principals in Georgia would be rewarded with $10,000 bonuses, and teachers who agree to serve as mentors would receive additional pay under a proposal from Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Mr. Perdue also said Tuesday that he wants to lure badly needed math and science teachers by promising them higher pay.

The proposals - which have a combined price tag of $20 million - would not take effect until August 2010 , and Mr. Perdue won't have to find the money for them until he puts out his budget next January.

The state is facing a massive budget shortfall that is forcing cuts across state government. Mr. Perdue defended the spending Tuesday after the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's annual "Eggs and Issues" legislative breakfast.

"Even in the economic downturn you have to focus on the things that will make a difference to the people of Georgia; that's education," he said.

The Republican governor's proposals received mixed reviews .

Richmond County school board Vice President Alex Howard said the additional money would be welcomed after years of state cuts totaling more than $32 million since 2002-03, but he said it seems hypocritical to reward principals for being successful while cutting the resources they need .

"To me, it's setting our principals up to fail," he said. "I would rather see these resources go back into the schools."

Columbia County school board member Mike Sleeper said the justification for spending so much money on bonuses at a time when his school system might lose $5 million to $10 million in state funding eludes him.

"I can understand that there are districts that need some better teachers and some help, but that's penalizing us," he said. "We're doing it right. We've got great teachers and principals. They're taking away money from us, theoretically. It seems like our share might go somewhere else."

Jeff Hubbard, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, said he liked the idea of boosting pay for high-performing teachers who agree to serve as instructional leaders and mentors at their schools.

But he had concerns about bonuses for principals, primarily because Mr. Perdue was only proposing them for high school.

He said the bonuses should be expanded to include elementary and middle school principals whose work sets the stage for how student s perform in high school.

"We need to look at rewarding excellence across the board," he said.

Mr. Perdue said he is open to looking at lower school principals eventually but wanted to start with high schools because he is focused on improving the state's graduation rate.

The governor's proposal for principals would hand out bonuses to those who show improved graduation rates, SAT scores and end - of - year test scores.

A principal could also qualify if his or her school was in the state's top 5 percent in those categories. Teachers would receive 10 or 15 percent merit pay boosts if they mentor new teachers or perform other tasks related to professional development.

Staff writers Greg Gelpi and Donnie Fetter contributed to this story.

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55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 01/14/09 - 05:36 am
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Let the big liar "Sonny" get

Let the big liar "Sonny" get the ball rolling by taking the money devoted to his "fish pond" in Houston County, and redirecting that $$$,$$$,$$$'s to the educaters' bonus fund.

TheTruth
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TheTruth 01/14/09 - 07:21 am
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What an idiot. This is going

What an idiot. This is going to be a disincentive to attract high performing leaders to low performing schools. What a bone-head proposal.

kissofdeath
397
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kissofdeath 01/14/09 - 07:24 am
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Georgians does not need to

Georgians does not need to re- elect a Republican Governor after Sonny Perdue term end in 2010.What ignorant idea to proposes a $10,000.00 bonuses for High School principals when Georgia's budget woes are continuing to flare up. Governor Sonny Perdue everything going to be alright you only have 355 days left in office.

Georgiajack
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Georgiajack 01/14/09 - 08:23 am
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Most high school principals

Most high school principals in Georgia earn at or above the $100,000 mark--now they will be offered a substantial bonus if they do their job--what is wrong with this story?

paulwheeler
122
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paulwheeler 01/14/09 - 08:25 am
0
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Can we tie Sonny's pay to his

Can we tie Sonny's pay to his performance? With the current budgetary and other governmental woes in this state (WATER!) ol' Sonny might not have much take home.

ripjones
2
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ripjones 01/14/09 - 08:46 am
0
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I agree with the stated

I agree with the stated intention, but principals don't assure graduation rates -- guidance counselors and teachers do. His heart is in the right place, just who should get the additional funds is off. Given these economic times, Sonny is really doing a pretty good job. If you have something constructive to offer, tell your elected official. If all you want to do is gripe, then shut the ^%&& up. You are either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem. We have too many problems as it is. Lastly, PARENTS can help the graduation rate, most of all. Get involved in your child's education -- You brought them into this world -- YOU are responsible for them. Teachers are not in school to raise your child !!!

godogs
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godogs 01/14/09 - 08:57 am
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Teachers are the ones who

Teachers are the ones who should be getting the bonuses. They are the ones that have to put up with the dissrespectful, lazy, foul mouthed, sagging, little brats. When parents don't get involved or see that the students are doing their homework and don't try to help their kids or get help for them, there is only so much the teachers can do in the time they have in a day. They are not miracle workers. Why should they be punished because they are given a classroom full of kids from homes that look at school as a free means of babysitting. I am Republican but Sonny has been the worst governor Georgia has ever had as far a I can remember. He has done nothing but pad his own pockets at the expense of the tax payers. I look forward to the day he is gone.

ripjones
2
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ripjones 01/14/09 - 09:09 am
0
0
Can you please provide me

Can you please provide me with examples of Sonny padding his own pocket ? I'll ask about it. If I find it is true, I'll be right here with you.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 01/14/09 - 09:20 am
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What a minute this sounds too

What a minute this sounds too much like "Bush-ian" captialism-trickle down and we know capitalism-trickle down is a failure (correct??). We pay them to produce more and we hope this will trickle down to the students to perform better. I thought crap like that was why Obama was elected. hee,hee,hee.

christian134
1
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christian134 01/14/09 - 09:24 am
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Teachers are just that

Teachers are just that teachers..They are not the proverbial babysitting service. There job description does not and should not include counselor, friend, buddy, changing their diapers or wiping their noses, chef, nurse, doctor...They are teachers put there to teach the children to read, write and cipher...The dress code, manners, learning proper speaking is the parents job...Although precious little parenting is seen these days...People you have children...Why not try something novel like actually being a parent? Let the teachers teach...You might find a difference in these children...You might find these teachers will not want the money if they are treated differently and parents take responsibility...

703
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Barry Paschal 01/14/09 - 09:28 am
0
0
Actually, kissofdeath, Perdue

Actually, kissofdeath, Perdue has 717 days left in office. His term ends Dec. 31, 2010 - not 2009.

sophiecat1
0
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sophiecat1 01/14/09 - 09:28 am
0
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Give matha nd science

Give matha nd science teachers more pay? Are you kidding me? Does that mean the rest of the teachers are not worth money. I teach language arts and trust me it is no picnic. I am sick and tired of hearing Sonny Perdue's asinine education reform ideas. $10,000 bonuses for high school principals would be a huge blow to the state budget. Can he not do simple math? I voted for him and I have been sorry ever since.

sophiecat1
0
Points
sophiecat1 01/14/09 - 09:31 am
0
0
He needs to give every

He needs to give every teacher a bonus for resigning their contracts! Does anyone else out there want to do this job?

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/14/09 - 09:47 am
0
0
I just read a recent article

I just read a recent article in Science about how ineffective instructor-teaching is in education. While students may memorize and do well on exams it was found students didn't comprehend and couldn't apply the knowledge. It was found that asking questions and probing the students to interact and think was actually more effective-and as much time was spent examining the wrong answers offered by students in discussion as the correct. Further human cognitive studies on learning and memory can also be used to teach more effectively. The key isn't teaching but learning.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 01/14/09 - 10:02 am
0
0
Biz: In order to learn, one

Biz: In order to learn, one must fail. Success teaches nothing. Our schools are afraid to fail a student for any reason. Perdue should give that bonus money to PARENTS who have produced children with the hunger for education. Maybe the parents who haven't would get jealous enough to care for their kids and teach them to be hungry for education.

Mr. Thackeray
896
Points
Mr. Thackeray 01/14/09 - 10:08 am
0
0
Like most politicians, he is

Like most politicians, he is oblivious to the real issues. Principals don't need greater pay--TEACHERS do! And to discriminate AGAINST History, LA and others? What a wonderful way to divide the very group you MOST NEED to be successful.

It's the TEACHERS DUMMIES

142
Points
Dan White 01/14/09 - 10:32 am
0
0
What a joke this proposal is.

What a joke this proposal is. The high achieving suburban school principals will get the Sonny money while the low achieving principals of inner city schools and poor rural schools get the shaft.

142
Points
Dan White 01/14/09 - 10:34 am
0
0
OK, let me get this right -

OK, let me get this right - principals get a bonus on the back of their teachers who will be pressured to make non-performing, chronic absentee students perform.

142
Points
Dan White 01/14/09 - 10:35 am
0
0
And to think that bonus money

And to think that bonus money is tied in with the performance of teens and children who are to be treated like adults in sales jobs or in corporations.

johnsmith
9
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johnsmith 01/14/09 - 11:04 am
0
0
You know what? The right

You know what? The right principal makes all the difference. Just look at Tubman, and tell me that that man does not deserve a bonus. Every other profession in this country allows for some means of rewarding its professionals for high performance. For some reason, teachers are violently opposed to merit pay, and they are doubly opposed to it when it is offered to administration rather than to the teachers themselves. It makes perfect sense to me to reward people who make a difference.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 01/14/09 - 11:46 am
0
0
Lets face it this would be an

Lets face it this would be an accounting nightmare. What we need to do is cut out the middle men and give the bonus to the Superintendant. I mean he has about as much interest in classroom activities as a principal. If they really want to see education improve, then use the money to purchase cameras for each class so the principal can actually see what the teachers are doing every day. But then they would have to take action against teachers that continually tell students to study by themselves.

jboy
0
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jboy 01/14/09 - 11:53 am
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0
All this while all other

All this while all other state employees are required to take one or two day furloughs per month. And every state employee's raise for the year was suspended except for the teachers.

johnsmith
9
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johnsmith 01/14/09 - 12:04 pm
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jboy, no arguments here. I'm

jboy, no arguments here. I'm not saying that schools should or should not get more $ given the current economic climate, and in light of what other state employees are experiencing. I'm simply responding to the idea that teachers count and principals don't (much), as expressed by some in this forum...

Riverman1
82184
Points
Riverman1 01/14/09 - 12:26 pm
0
0
Lots of problems. First off,

Lots of problems. First off, the area and students determine the success of a school, not the teachers or principals. The ones doing the best jobs may not have results that look all that good on paper. So how do you determine who gets the bonus? Next, the state is in debt and doesn't have enough money to give raises to anyone. Keep this up and retired teachers won't have health care for long. There simply isn't enough money. Of course we could save at least a hundred million by dropping the idea of a second medical school in Athens.

Riverman1
82184
Points
Riverman1 01/14/09 - 12:29 pm
0
0
Since the Governor seems to

Since the Governor seems to want to throw money at improving education results how about this idea that I'm sure would be effective? Pay students from poorly performing schools to attend afterschool study sessions. Their pay should be for the hours spent there, plus incentive pay for good grades. That would not only improve education results, but it would help poor families with much needed cash.

Mr. Thackeray
896
Points
Mr. Thackeray 01/14/09 - 04:27 pm
0
0
'While students may memorize

'While students may memorize and do well on exams it was found students didn't comprehend and couldn't apply the knowledge. It was found that asking questions and probing the students to interact and think was actually more effective-and as much time was spent examining the wrong answers offered by students in discussion as the correct."

EXACTLY. BUT, the problem is everything is tied to a standardized test that cannot measure cognitive skills!

corgimom
31150
Points
corgimom 01/14/09 - 05:14 pm
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0
"There job description does

"There job description does not and should not include counselor, friend, buddy, changing their diapers or wiping their noses, chef, nurse, doctor.." Last week I saw a large, festering boil on the throat of a kindergartener. It was right out front where it was clearly visible. I gloved up and put a large Band-Aid on it. She came back the next day and it was worse. I gloved up again and put another large Band-Aid on it. The teacher contacted the parent and said she couldn't come back to school without a doctor's ok- and yes, it was a staph infection, which is highly contagious. Occurrences like this are not uncommon.

teacher02
3
Points
teacher02 01/14/09 - 06:42 pm
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0
JohnSmith, the reason most

JohnSmith, the reason most teachers are opposed to merit based pay is that there are too many variables involved. Chronic absenteeism, discipline problems, teenage pregnancy, drug use, criminal activity, unsupportive parents, and social promotion among others (that educators have absolutely no control over) all have a detrimental impact on the education outcome of students and cannot simply be overcome in a 50 minute period every day. A merit based pay system will punish many hard working educators (or administrators in this case) whose only fault is working in a poorer district. As others have noted, this will only work to drive the most qualified educators and administrators from the struggling schools.

thisisinsane
0
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thisisinsane 01/14/09 - 06:46 pm
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We are having to cut teacher

We are having to cut teacher positions and make class sizes bigger because of budget cuts but we are going to give some principals more money. However you look at that it makes no sense. Teachers have to spend their own money as it is all during the year to buy supplies especially when the schools have no money for supplies because of budget cuts. And why should high school prinicpals get more money and not elementary and middle school principals? Who do you think got the kids to the high school? So bottom line, lets put 35 kids in a room and hope they get a good education while principals and mentors make more money. Last, why should only new teachers get more money, what about the rest who are still there with no supplies and looming budget cuts. If anyone should be rewarded it is the teachers who are still there, not the new ones!

workingmom
0
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workingmom 01/14/09 - 08:28 pm
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The only new teachers who

The only new teachers who would be earning more money would be those who choose to teach math or science. There are so many people out there who are gifted in math but could not begin to teach a concept to a group of children if their life depended on it. Those who excel in math and science can easily find higher paying jobs. I also think there will be intensive training, additional paperwork and working hours involved in being a mentor teacher. Someone has to be accountable for the raise in pay.

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