Michelle Rhee, DC Schools Chancellor to Newsweek. She’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen to hit American education. Best chance we’ve ever had to finally make improvements.
On Thur. Obama mentioned paying teachers more AND making them more accountable. If Rhee can break through in DC, she might be the spark for long-awaited national progress.
Way to go Jeremy and team! Psyched for you.
Michelle Rhee is the courageous new Chancellor of the DC Public School system. Among the many reforms she’s proposing is merit pay: having compensation based on performance instead of seniority. The Post describes the proposal:
[the plan] would give mid-level teachers who are paid $62,000 yearly the opportunity to earn more than $100,000 — but they would have to give up seniority and tenure rights … The structure would put the city’s teachers in an elite class in a profession in which the national average salary is $47,600
The Post goes on to interview some DC teachers on their thoughts on the proposal, which also includes greater principal authority on hiring decisions. Teacher Jerome Brocks says:
It is degrading and insulting for teachers to have to interview with a principal before accepting a position in that school
Wow. To have to go through an interview to get a job. The indignity.
My wife and many friends have worked in the DC public school system and know first hand just how many teachers there are there who sit behind the union wall of tenure and seniority and do nothing but let our children’s minds rot.
Rhee and Mayor Fenty are to be commended in their courageous, no-holes-barred approach to improving DC’s chronically horrible education system. It should serve a real bell weather to see if we finally have the will to enforce accountability on our educators and really commit to improving our nation’s schools.
Kita and I watched The Notebook this weekend.
It had lots of faults. The plot and the script were pretty weak. However the acting was great. And more than anything, it was a great story about out-of-control youthful love, which is one of the very greatest gifts life provides.
It was great to experience that. It’s a great reminder about how simple life can be if we just focus on the few things that matter.
Some news this week that further points out what a uphill battle the Internet Music industry is.
Pandora announced that they might shut down because they don’t see how they can make money. And TechCrunch wrote an article about how last.fm is falling behind imeem. last.fm is the only big exit in recent years in the internet music segment. They’ve always tried to do the right thing: build their service not on pirated content but on community and innovation, bring in content legitimately, and try to have it work with reasonable economics. But in the end it seems that there’s no chance that last.fm will provide CBS a good return on its $260M investment. (And the word in imeem is that as they grow they just lose more and more money with no end in sight).
Internet services and the music industry continue to do a dance to find a winning formula and for now it seems that everyone is still losing. The Internet and the music industry are tough row to hoe. Best approach: have a music service where the emphasis is more on the lifestyle that surrounds music rather than one that is all about the music. The latter just generates too many plays at too high of licensing rates without enough additional engagement.
Update: another one bites the dust.