The New Haven, Connecticut school district has not failed to disappoint lately in grabbing our attention and is back in the news again- This time for being what is hailed as a potentially groundbreaking new teacher contract. This comes as no surprise, given the reformers (one might even say, gadflies) that have been filling the ranks of the district's leadership.
If ratified by the city's board of Aldermen, the contract would allow for new ways of paying, evaluating, and supporting teachers.
Essentially, the contract allows for two committees to measure student growth and evaluate teachers. The committees would be comprised of all pertinent parties - district officials, parents, and union officials.??
Granted, it remains to be seen if this type of committee system will be successful, but the importance of the AFT and a school district reaching a working agreement for performance-backed merit pay can't be stressed enough. This is a promising agreement, and hopefully similar ones will be on the horizon for other districts.