DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has rolled out a new plan that proposes rewarding the best public school teachers with bonuses and increased salaries. Unsurprisingly, teachers unions oppose the plan, which would put new teachers, and current teachers who opt in, into a competitive track where compensation would be tied to performance instead of seniority. Rhee’s plan would allow current teachers to maintain their salary and tenure, but they would also have the chance to potentially earn over $100,000/year by switching to the new system. The money for the program would come from grants from education reform-minded foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since assuming her post last year, Rhee has made headlines for her bold reforms, including closing underperforming schools, firing unqualified teachers, and holding school administrators responsible for their schools’ performance.