As school accountability and school choice increases, districts should not be surprised to see that schools will become more segregated as our more affluent citizens flee to “better schools”. So do all children deserve a great education? Yes! Is linking school grades that are based on student performance that is correlated sometimes with poverty to teachers' evaluations and livelihoods make the most sense? Probably not. So what are districts going to do to balance or equalize the movement that is causing the most voiceless children to be stuck in the most destitute schools with the ineffective teachers?
Yes, one solution is to provide incentives for the most effective teachers to come to struggling schools. Yes, money is the first step. The next step would be to ensure that the school culture and climate is one of high expectations. I, for one, believe that our children will rise to the level. Another thing that helps is to provide extensive support and professional development to both teachers and students to ensure that the learning environment is one that is culturally responsive and engaging to all students.
So, kudos to the district for taking the first step [read it: Pinellas Pay Bump For Teachers]. Now we need to make it part of the larger plan to put the most effective teachers in front of our children every. single. day.