Educational Finance Proposal

I have an idea.  My own school district is doing fine financially, but as I look around the country, I am both saddened and dismayed.  So, I have an idea.

Imagine, if you will, that Mr. Teacher has been viewed by many in the community as a great teacher.  There might be data to support this, or maybe it is just a feeling, but quite often Mr. Teacher is requested by many parents and students because of his perceived excellence in educating.  Rather than a state given bonus, a teacher can choose to enroll into a program.  In this program, parents can literally buy a seat in Mr. Teacher’s room for their child.  However, for every seat that wealthy parent purchases, another seat is provided for a student who is identified as “at risk” for any number of reasons.  In this way, Mr. Teacher is using his mighty skills to provide a superior education for both ends of the spectrum.  If there is not enough interest to fill the desks with students who have “bought” their way in, then other students can be randomly assigned.

The money spent in this fashion could be split between the teacher and the district.  Mr. Teacher is winning by getting a bonus, and the district is winning by scoring financial support for the district.

If Mr. Teacher is not as good as he thinks he is, no one will buy a seat and he will get the usual mix of students.  No bonus for either he or the school.

I haven’t really thought this through, but it seems like it could work.  Of course, maybe those people buying seats wouldn’t want the other end of students placed with their own children, but if the teacher is good enough, this should be worth it.  With any luck, other teachers would seek Mr. Teacher out to learn how he teaches so well so that they, too, can earn a bonus and be sought out by prospective parents and teachers.

Maybe it wouldn’t work, but it seems to be a better solution than any others I have heard.  What do you think?

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3 Comments

  1. renaissanceguy said,

    October 21, 2010 at 8:20 am

    What about the teachers that the parents would pay to have their kids avoid?

  2. October 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Admittedly, it would work in much the same way…those teachers would realize, or have it emphasized to them by capable administrators, that no one is willing to pay to request them. That in itself might signal a need to change.

  3. February 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    You simply won’t find a more usable, clear-headed break down of the moves that great teachers use everyday to drive academic achievement in schools that serve low-income kids. I’ve been training and coaching teachers for the past 10 years, and there’s nothing out there that holds a candle to Doug Lemov’s work. The key is that Lemov’s stuff is highly observable and practiceable. As a teacher or a teacher coach, you can put your finger on specific actions that were or were not taken — and then you can practice those actions — literally out loud, in the mirror, with a partner — to make measurable improvements in the next lesson you teach. Most teacher education deals in the realm of the abstract or the long-term. Lemov’s material has tremendous long-term benefits and a powerful, cohesive philosophical underpinning — just like some of the things you learn in a traditional Ed School setting. But he makes these abstract ideas actionable and repeatable. And it’s the combination of “get better now” while working toward a long-term vision of great teaching that makes this book absolutely indispensible. Essential.


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