Newark's best teachers received bonuses of up to $12,500 last month as the first checks were given out for the inauguration of the district's controversial merit-pay program, according to The Wall Street Journal.
About 5 percent of the district's 3,200-member union will receive nearly $1.3 million in merit-based bonuses, which is funded by the $100 million donation given to the district two years ago by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, according to the article.
The contract uses the new four-tier teacher rating system, according to NJ.com. The formula includes a 13.9 percent salary increase over three years for those with high ratings.
In addition, teachers can earn $5,000 for being rated as highly effective; $5,000 for working in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools; and $2,500 for teaching a hard-to-staff subject, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The merit-pay plan was approved in November by the Newark Teachers Union. Newark is the first district in the state to offer its teachers bonus pay based on student performance.
The merit-pay plan has been touted by Gov. Chris Christie, who said in November, "Not only does it provide merit bonuses and provide advancement based upon merit, but it also involves the teachers in the evaluation process as well."
"Everyone has a stake in it, and I think it's going to improve the quality of education in the city of Newark," Christie also said in November.Although the merit-pay plan is still in its nascent phases, do you think the South Brunswick School District should mirror Newark's plan? And while South Brunswick doesn't have $100 million lying around, the district could offer some sort of compensation for highly-effective teachers.
Write what you think in the comment section below.