Rose Patterson writes at the NZ Initiative:
What kinds of things matter for student achievement? Is it class size, school journals, the school building, or a flash new gym?
These may play a role at the margin, but they pale in significance next to what research conclusively shows is the most important in-school factor for student achievement: the teacher.
On Monday, The New Zealand Initiative releases its first education report on teacher quality, and it comes at quite a precipitous time. As the ageing teacher workforce moves into retirement, New Zealand needs to not only replenish this workforce but attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession. And then, for teachers to develop to their full potential and to retain the best teachers, teaching must be a challenging and rewarding career.
Yet our report has uncovered some major problems in the career development of teachers in New Zealand. Aside from going into school administration, there is little opportunity, challenge, and recognition for a teacher to further develop their skills and capability. Also, the maximum salary point is reached after eight years. It is obvious what kind of signal this sends: teachers have reached their maximum ability after eight years.
One of the problems of fixed salary scales. I think our top teachers should be able to earn over $100,000 a year (without having to take up administrative roles). But I also think you shouldn’t have poor teachers earning the same as the best teachers.
I’m looking forward to reading the report, and seeing what ideas are promoted to help with teacher recruitment and retention.Tags: NZ Initiative