by Max Brantley
The consultants' draft report on improving Arkansas schools includes a number of words worth consideration (these particular following ones are not achievable if we insist that small-town basketball teams and teh shortest possible bus rides are more important than the quality of education):
The new report, a blueprint for adequacy in 2007, calls for the state to "re-engineer" its schools with tougher curriculum, smaller class sizes and schools with between 400 and 600 students.
The recommendation on teacher pay is more cohesive at first glance than some of the bonus pay experiments scattered around the state currently. But, though knowledge and skill should be key components of compensation; seniority should be a factor, too. Meaningful continuing training and rigorous supervision should further insure that additional tiime on the job makes teachers more knowledgeable, which it inevitably does.
The consultants renewed their recommendation that the state's teachers be paid depending on their knowledge and skill levels, instead of a seniority-based system. The report recommends that bonuses be given collectively to teachers in high-performing schools.