Friday, March 20, 2009

Lowest-Achieving Schools Get Bonuses



"...Seventeen Charleston County principals who oversee the school district's lowest-achieving schools will receive more than $320,000 in bonuses this year for working at their respective schools.

The bonus money comes directly from the state and can't be used to cover the $13.3 million in mid-year state funding cuts or the projected $28 million deficit next year. But the supplement money could be used for other school-based programs, such as credit recovery courses or training for teachers.

The practice of offering the bonuses started three years ago under former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, and the goal was to attract experienced principals to its most needy schools. The district since has offered bonuses at some below average and unsatisfactory-rated schools to recruit the best applicants..." (source)

And I totally agree with this. I have some issues with "No Child Left Behind." I agree that there needs to be a certain level of achievement and accountability, but anyone that has been in a classroom in a lower socio-economic area knows that unless you're Merlin...you're not getting through to many of the kids. And NOTHING but a change in the child's living situation (not the school, the teachers or the administration) could help mend that.

I would recommend all non-teachers watch the documentary "Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card" This is a really first hand and intimate look at what inner city teacher face every day. I have never openly criticized NCLB before because I don't have a better plan...or even an idea of where to begin. Maybe a parenting test?

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