Turning to Teachers
Unhappy with a new curriculum developed by an outside firm, Pittsburgh's school district is diverting money from the company’s contact to hire district teachers and academic coaches as curriculum writers this year. Under the plan, some $2.4 million from the district's $8.4 million contract with Kaplan K12 Learning Services will be divvied up among the teacher-curriculum writers, teachers who provide feedback, and University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Learning, which will provide resources and services to the writers. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, teachers could make $16,000 to $22,000 per course for designing the curriculumin addition to their regular pay.
Initial installments of the new curriculum introduced by Kaplan last school year triggered a range of complaints from teachers, prompting the district to reconsider the contract. Kaplan Senior Vice President Seppy Basili, however, said it’s normal for school systems to develop more of their own curricula in the second or third years of a contract with Kaplan. "The decision to go in this direction was based on some of the feedback really all through the year from teachers who, I think, wanted a greater voice and greater stake in the process," Basili said.