Orange County Plays “Musical Teachers???

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Orange County, Florida, is one of a growing number of school districts to adopt an incentive pay program for good teachers willing to work in failing schools. Certified teachers who have previously boosted student achievement are being offered incentives of $6,000 if they move to a school that has received an F on its state report card at least twice in the past three years.

These programs come at a cost, though, as the Orlando Sentinel points out in a good story this week. Placing a successful teacher in a troubled school means that the replaced teacher moves to another school, most likely one that is higher performing. Not surprisingly, parents at these schools aren’t too excited at the prospect of inheriting these schools' cast-offs. While the district is arguing that, “Teachers can be a better fit in a different environment,??? parents aren't necessarily buying that line.

Other districts may want to watch carefully how Orlando deals with this problem. As more districts experiment with hardship pay for effective teachers, they’re going to find middle class parents quick to veto any suggestion of moving less effective teachers into their children’s schools. And though all of these teachers certainly shouldn’t be dumped from the rolls, inevitably districts will have to be willing to increase their teacher dismissal rates.