N.Y.C. Pressed on Staffing Neediest Schools
New York City's senior member of Congress and the president of Teachers College last week called on the city to provide financial incentives to lure educators to work in its neediest schools.
U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, a Democrat from Harlem, and Arthur Levine, the president of Teachers College, Columbia University, cast their proposal as an opportunity to raise achievement among the most disadvantaged students by giving them stronger teachers. Studies have shown that in many cities, schools serving large numbers of poor children often are disproportionately staffed by uncertified and inexperienced teachers.
Mr. Levine and Mr. Rangel proposed paying salary bonuses of 25 percent to educators who work an 11-month year in low-performing schools. They also called for paying an additional 10 percent to "master teachers" who opted for similar assignments. The current salary schedule for New York City teachers begins at about $39,000, and tops out at more than $81,000. Mr. Levine said the pay differentials are crucial to help overcome inequities in the 1.1 million-student school system. He said that 60 percent of the city's poorest students are concentrated in one-third of its approximately 1,350 schools, which have larger shares of inexperienced teachers and high teacher turnover. For those children, he said, the start of a new school year "marks another year of being left behind."
This article, written by Catherine Gewertz, appeared in the September 14th, 2005 publication of Education Week.
Published Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2005