Students Support Natomas Teachers

Dozens of Inderkum High School students like 10th grader Claire Doughty, 15, seen here, showed support for teachers who received layoff notices today by donning the color pink and speaking out against the seniority-driven process. More than 50 Natomas Unified School District teachers were “pink slipped” today.



  1. Anonymous says

    Seniority is used as a substitution for accountability metrics because it’s hard to measure a teacher’s job performance. I’m a teacher. We are supposed to help students grow academically while teaching them how to interact with each other socially, how to deal with personal emotional problems, how to deal with a bad home life, how to be a responsible citizen, etc. We also often run after school programs, show up for evening community events voluntarily, etc. There are many ways teachers can add value to a child’s life and to the community in general.

    But just being a teacher shouldn’t mean that you are wrapped in an untouchable, unaccountable cloak of holy callingness. Presently teachers who should be rewarded for their hard work and teachers who do the bare minimum are paid the same. Where is the incentive (beyond your conscience and sense of duty/mission) to do a great job?

    Could some sort of compromise consolidated metric be developed?

    35% seniority/continuing ed. factor
    35% test scores based on individual student growth from beginning to end of same school year (could be a two- or three-year moving average)
    15% administrator ratings
    15% parent reviews (strip top two and bottom two reviews to remove outliers)

    Perhaps there are other measurements we could add or the percentages could be tweaked.

    I would love to see a district/local union be courageous enough to try something like this for a couple of years at least as a pilot program. I think something like this would help restore confidence in public education — that we would know that teacher quality is monitored and that effort is rewarded.

    You could even set up bonuses for reaching certain metrics — I think you could make them small, like being able to earn up to 3 or 4% above your “base” salary. A bonus/incentivizing portion might have to wait until (if?) our state is in a better financial position. It would be interesting if a private foundation would offer the bonuses in a pilot district to see if monetary reward incentives have any effect on effort/achievement.

    Just some ideas…

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