Pioneer Institute and Boston University School of Education Host Timely Discussion: The Merits of Differential Pay for Teachers

in BU In the Community, News Releases, School of Education
December 15th, 2006

Contact: Erin Whipple, 617-358-1688 | ewhipple@bu.edu

Boston – Pioneer Institute, in collaboration with the Boston University School of Education, will host leading educational authorities addressing issues related to merit pay for teachers on December 15 at BU’s School of Education, Two Sherborn Street, from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Merit pay systems are currently being explored by Massachusetts school superintendents, led by those in Springfield and Andover. Simultaneously, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union, has stated that it is opposed to the concept of merit pay.

“As a School committed to preparing the next generation of educators, being able to offer a forum for open debate of this critical and timely topic was very important to us,” said Dr. Charles Glenn, Dean Ad Interim of Boston University’s School of Education, who moderated the panel.

“There is increasing interest across the country—and certainly at the federal level—in pushing various pay for performance programs,” said James Stergios, executive director of Pioneer Institute. “The Springfield teachers’ contract is an opportunity to get it right in Massachusetts and improve the quality of education in a troubled urban district.”

The keynote speaker will be Theodor Rebarber, CEO and founder of AccountabilityWorks, a nonprofit research and consulting group whose mission is to assist states and districts in implementing high-performance education accountability systems. Prior to appearing at Boston University, Rebarber is meeting with Springfield superintendent Joseph P. Burke regarding the implementation phases of merit pay in the district’s schools.

Other featured guests participating in the panel discussion include Christopher Anderson, president, Massachusetts High Technology Council and Chairman, Massachusetts Board of Education; Mahesh Sharma, president, Cambridge College, and Dr. Julia Sigalovsky, executive director, Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School.

Invitations to the event were extended to affiliates of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, as well as all area school superintendents and other state education leaders. Attendees include Massachusetts Board of Education associate commissioner Robert Bickerton and member Tom Fortmann; Patricia Nolan of the Cambridge School Committee; Paul Reville, president of the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and Tom McDonald, former superintendent of Barnstable schools.

Pioneer Institute, a leading think tank in Massachusetts, promotes research that challenges the “conventional wisdom” on public policy issues. Committed to individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and the application of free market principles to state and local policy, Pioneer develops sensible, innovative ideas and converts them into action.

The Boston University School of Education provides comprehensive teacher preparation to students in more than 20 concentrations and maintains a variety of collaborative agreements with school districts in the greater Boston area. SED is one of Boston University’s 17 schools and colleges. Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States.

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