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A Novel Idea in NYC: Pay Teachers Well

Christine Gralow from the NYTimes Lesson Plans blog is volunteering her time to the Capital Campaign Advisory Board of the Equity Project charter school that will open in New York City in 2009. The school is promising to pay its teachers $125,000 yearly salaries, a plan that, in Gralow’s eyes, could revolutionize education reform.

When I recently saw an ad for a $125,000-a-year teaching job at a New York City charter school, my first thought was that it must be some sort of phishing scam … I realized [the school] was not only legit, but potentially revolutionary in terms of education reform.

A special education teacher in NYC public schools, Gralow often finds herself frustrated with the bureaucracy, chaos, and unhealthy learning environments that make teaching extremely difficult in her schools. She thinks TEPs new model will have success where other schools have failed.

When I see promising teaching colleagues quit because they simply can’t afford to live in Manhattan on their salaries, and I see staff shortages and inexperienced teachers at the city’s highest needs schools, it’s clear a new model is needed.
To effectively recruit and retain the teachers needed to turn troubled schools around and give the kids who need it most a fighting chance, education officials should re-consider how schools are financed.
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