The New Teacher Contract is a very progressive step for Baltimore City public schools. Whereas most aspects of the contract between Baltimore City Teacher's Union and Baltimore City Public Schools will remain the same, the main area of change will be in regard to compensation. In the new contract the compensation will be performance based. This means that the Teacher Evaluation will play a role in teacher salaries. Teachers will be compensated on how they teach, children learn and Achievement Units (AU). Teachers will receive Achievement Units not only for a Proficient Teacher Evaluation but also for approved collaborative site-based work as well as teacher professional development that is demonstrated to increase student learning.
While some believe that this is a huge step forward for Baltimore City, others are extremely hesitant. For the first time, compensation is linked to student achievement. Being able to control the amount of AUs may be dangerous. Certain teachers may attend professional development that may not correlate to their specific content simply to collect AUs. Teacher Evaluations are often based on test scores. While “cheating” becomes a bigger issue in City Schools, it may be risky for test scores to hold even greater importance. How do you think the new contract will play out in regard to standardized testing? Do you think teachers will abuse the AUs accumulation policy? If so, in which ways?