Is stipend program really “disgusting”? And the impact of highly-motivated teachers

As Rob Nikolewski over at New Mexico Watchdog reported recently, Gov. Martinez’s plans to incentivize high-performing teachers has not exactly won high praise from the unions with one union boss calling the plan “disgusting.” Frankly, it seems that whatever Martinez does, even if it is supported by the Legislature as was this proposal, the unions will oppose it. Funny how that works.

Myself, I’m not sure why shifting marginally less effective teachers to teach good students while shifting marginally more effective teachers to poor-performing classes is a good idea, but I haven’t studied that particular issue (I’d rather see an emphasis on recruiting and paying highly-effective teachers and getting rid of the others, but if the unions don’t like this proposal…)

Of course, the unions aren’t the only ones who have it out for Martinez, some “community activists” just can’t make up enough “facts” to make sense.

By way of facts, there is no doubt that having highly-motivated, competent teachers in the classroom makes a difference. Only recently, as the Washington Post reports that Teach for America (a program that specializes in bringing young, highly-educated, and highly-motivated teachers into difficult classrooms) increases student performance significantly.

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