This is simply outrageous and yet another sad example of why public schools are failing.
Seven Washington high schools won’t be getting their share of a $13.2 million grant to enhance the teaching of Advanced Placement courses in math in science.
Washington state won the grant last year, but stakeholders haven’t been able to figure out how to embrace the project that would include a financial incentive for teachers who improve test scores and for the time they spend in training.
But you have to get to the second to last sentence in the article to understand the real reason why Washington state lost this Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant.
The WEA [JN: that’s the union], he said, was particularly concerned about tying teacher pay directly to student test scores.
It is all well and good to talk about improving our public school system but it will never happen with the unhealthy degree of control that the state and national teacher unions have over this system.
Six other states (including Massachusetts!) are participating in these Gates Foundation grants that involve performance pay for teachers, which suggests that this is less about structural impediments and more about the WEA’s ideological opposition to any linking of performance and pay. Sadly, less than 1/4 of the $13.2 million grant would have been allocated for pay, which means that the Washington state teachers and students are losing out on over $10m in funding that would go directly to teacher training and to students.