Here's an idea for retaining teachers who might want to move out of their jobs to administrative positions or other professions in order to make more money.
A commission created by Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has recommended a system in which teachers can advance in their careers and get higher pay without leaving the classroom.
Teachers could move from "apprentice teacher" to "classroom teacher" to "professional teacher" to "master teacher" and then "learning designer," all by meeting certain education and experience requirements.
Each designation, the commission's report says, would provide teachers with different opportunities. For instance, a master teacher might spend part of his/her day providing professional development to his/her peers, while a learning designer would help the school or system design, say, a science curriculum.
Teachers who apply for these jobs would undergo rigorous review by a panel of peers to ensure consistent quality.
The recommendation from the highly influential commission, whose earlier reports led to the creation of a mentor program in the state and new standards for teachers, will need the approval of the Alabama board of education. But it has already received the stamp of approval from the state teachers' union and the governor has said he supports it.