For hundreds, even thousands, of teachers and principals across the state, those must've been some hoppin' school assemblies. You know how kids act an hour before the last bell rings for summer? The adults got a taste of that kind of cheer, hope and anticipation a few days back.
The state's Department of Education announced which schools would be on the receiving end of that $7 million reward. Yes, reward. For the best scores on 2015's state exams.
Some schools will get money for outstanding grades. Some for outstanding improvement. And a few for both.
As if teachers and principals are human, too. And are not only motivated by money, but by recognition for a job well done. When your school is listed in the paper as among the best, or most improved, in the whole state, that's some slap on the back.
Something like 194 schools across the state will divvy up $7,023,382.28 for being in the top 5 or top 10 percent in student achievement. But we only say "something like" because some schools are on the list twice. Imagine that. Not only topping the list of best scores, but also for making substantial improvements. Somebody bottle that.
Schools in the top 5 percent will get $96.99 for every student in the school. Those in the next 5 percent (at 6-10 percent) will get $48.50 per student. And the money can be spent on employee bonuses, equipment, temp employees or pretty much whatever plan the school can get approved.
And the teachers and principals were giddy.
So much for what the teachers' unions, or at least their bosses, have been saying all these years: Teachers don't go into the field for money, and they should all get the same large raises every year. Lest we distinguish between good teachers and the other kind. It's called leveling down. Even though what education needs right now is higher expectations, not lowered ones.
Who knew that educators were people, too? With a very human and very healthy desire to be recognized for their hard work. Recognized tangibly. Just like any other dedicated professional, artisan, mechanic or laborer.
Well, some of us knew educators were people too, and knew it all along. We also knew that money talks. Here's hoping it says even more over the years as this rewards program becomes more and more popular.
And something tells us it will.
Editorial on 04/12/2016
Print Headline: The way it's done