HISD: rewarding good teachers and discouraging cheating
This week HISD's board will vote on Dr. Saavedra's teacher bonus program:
The intricate, multi-tiered plan — touted by the Houston Independent School District as being among the most aggressive incentive plans in the country — would replace a five-year-old program that rewards all teachers at high-performing campuses regardless of their individual students' performance.
If the new bonus system had been in place last year, more than half of HISD's nearly 13,000 teachers would have earned an average bonus of nearly $1,000 at a cost of almost $7 million. That's more than triple the number of teachers who earned $1,000 bonuses last year.
By rewarding strong teachers, regardless of their school's overall performance, Houston would be setting the pace for education reform, said HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra.
"We want to pay our highest-performing teachers the most amount of money," he said.
To reduce teachers' temptation to cheat to earn the incentives, Saavedra also said Monday that teachers will no longer administer the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills to their own students. Instead, teachers will be rotated to other classrooms on testing day.
Gregory Cizek, a University of North Carolina professor who recently completed a review of Texas' testing security at the state's request, said the extra effort should help prevent cheating.
Bravo! These are two ideas that should benefit HISD's students.