Today the Washington Post reported on Arne Duncan and President Obama praising New Haven, Connecticut for their new ratified teacher contract for the education system. Even though it’s been touted as innovative, in reality it’s nothing new and doesn’t really improve the system.
Looking at the list of improvements, I’d have to agree that there is not anything new here. Some of them are not worth praising either, such as the one that prevents good teachers from receiving a higher pay then bad teachers. Teachers do not make much money as it is, and it is hard to come by a good teacher, especially in primary and secondary education, where students are starting to learn important skills that play a role in the future. It also makes no commitments to close bad schools, which is strange. I would think the system would be willing to close down schools that were not doing well or at the very least, figure out what was wrong and try to fix it. It just makes me wonder, if these are the improvements to the schools, what were the provisions before the new rules took place?
Besides that, it feels as if Obama and Duncan are just patting the head of some of these states instead of really praising states that are looking to make a change outside of the provisions that are already common.