Improve teacher effectiveness in Baltimore
Yesterday's story on the National Council on Teacher Quality's new report on the how to improve teaching in Baltimore schools raised a lot of questions for the Baltimore Teachers Union about what they will see as the most valuable elements of its contract. The union is now in the midst of negotiations and one could guess that the school board and CEO Andres Alonso will be trying to get as many of the elements of reform as they can into next year's contract. I will be interested in watching the process.
The report believes that school boards in the past gave teachers extra days off or other perks when it couldn't raise pay. Kate Walsh, who is president of the NCTQ, said, "What we found in Baltimore is the result of decades of contract negotiations and laws being passed without paying enough attention to their impact on student learning." The BTU had no comment, even though its leaders were given the report by the NCTQ in advance and were briefed by the authors. So I can't tell you what is on the minds of the leadership, but I would like to know what city teachers think of the recommendatoins in the report. And by the way, Cheryl Bost, president of Baltmore County's union, said there's a mistake in the graphics that were supplied by the NCTQ. She says county teachers have only 50 minutes of planning a day, not one hour and 20 minutes.