Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Wanted: Public School Teachers. Salary: $125,000

There’s a new charter school going up in Manhattan in September 2009 with a revolutionary plan: pay teachers what they’re worth.

The big picture, of course, is to help at-risk children succeed with the best teachers. Attracting those teachers, however, to work as hard as they’ll need to is the challenge. So the head of The Equity Project Charter School in Washington Heights plans to open with only a principal and no vice principal to cut administration costs. He’ll offer new teachers a $25,000 starting bonus. Sounds more like a corporate model rather than a public school one.

I like it, though: Why not treat schools like businesses, in administration at least if not in the curriculum? When I worked as the business manager of a non-profit arts organization in Manhattan, our director always operated more as a CEO than an artist (not that his choreography was anything to sneeze at). I’m all for bringing an understanding of economics to the non-profit realm.

Now, if only someone could bring the same salary initiative to adjunct college faculty.


Filed under: education, innovation, , , ,

One Response

  1. Cristina says:

    Ricco! I’m so glad I discovered your blog. And, thank you, for this post. On one of my visits back East I need to drop by and tell you all about my time out here with Teach For America. In researching where I’m going when my commitment here is over (May 09), I’ve come across many of these charter schools that are increasing pay and targeting at-risk children. The biggest challenge (among many) I’ve seen in the education system out here is the lack of accountability and efficiency. A big YES to schools run like businesses (though, keeping the creativity and integrity of teaching). Hope all is well!

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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