2007_10_meritpay.jpgMayor Bloomberg and United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten announced a new plan rewarding teachers whose schools improve student achievement. Two hundred high-needs schools will be eligible for the program, and if the schools improve, then the bonuses will be distributed through a committee to the teachers.

Mayor Bloomberg called the agreement a "breakthrough." Weingarten has long opposed "individual merit pay," but she likes the new plan because a committee, made up of the school principal, an appointee of the principal, and two UST members, will decide how much teachers get. Schools that improve will receive $3,000 per teacher - but teachers may not necessarily get $3,000, as the committee can choose to give a teacher more or less, based on performance.

Weingarten said, "Respecting and understanding the importance of teamwork and collaboration is precisely why the UFT enthusiastically supports this schoolwide initiative and has consistently opposed the idea of individual merit pay for teachers – especially when based solely on student test scores.” Still, some people, like NYC Educator, think she caved on the issue, pointing out that other teachers union have rejected this kind of system.

The program will cost $20 million and is privately funded. It will be expanded to another 200 schools next year.