For years now, you have joined forces with Michelle Rhee to drive and enact your education reform agenda. The cornerstone of this agenda states that the greatest single factor effecting student achievement is to place a highly effective teacher in front to every student. In fact, Ms. Rhee touts herself as a highly effective teacher claiming on her resume that 90 percent of her students had attained scores at the 90th percentile.
So, Mr. Gates, I give you the following challenge: 1) find the lowest performing school in the lowest performing district in the country (I understand that Chicago is struggling quite a bit). 2) Now that you have made sure that unions, LIFO and Tenure are gone in many states, involuntarily transfer to that school the best and most highly effective teachers you can find based on test scores. 3) Put 1 million in an merit poay escrow account. 4) Give the teachers the same 2 year window you give TFA teachers. 5) If your cohort of Highly Effective Teachers matches Rhee’s claim that 90 percent of her students had attained scores at the 90th percentile, then those teachers evenly split the pool of merit pay. If they are not “highly effective,” by Ms. Rhee’s measure they get fired without possibility of rehire.
This experiment should put to rest once and for all – for all of the validity of your reform agenda.
I look forward to your announcing what district is chosen (I understand that Chicago is suffering), what school will be the recipient of your largess, and the lucky teachers who can now compete for your merit pay.
David L. Russell