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Montana Given an F for it’s Teacher Policies

teacher fEach state was graded based on how well the state prepares teachers and removes ineffective ones. The failing grade of Montana, for the second consecutive time, is in strong contrast with the high marks Montana students received less than a year ago. Shouldn’t that be the real determiner? How well the students perform?

What caught my attention most in the study was that if a teacher is found ineffective in his or her classroom performance, it is not enough to remove the teacher. That makes it sound like the teacher is safe as long as he or she doesn’t break policy rules.

I’ve seen the bad policies first hand. Growing up in Billings, the teachers went on strike due to a change in salaries and contract. I remember when they released the salaries of the teachers in the newspaper, I couldn’t believe how many of the schools most unpopular teachers were the highest paid. The chart for teacher salaries for the 2010-11 school year can be seen here.

I cannot grasp the concept of the longer you are a teacher the more you get paid. Incentive should be provided to maintain good teachers but not based on how long they are willing to stay in a district. Out of my k-12 and college experience, the young excited and gung-ho teachers offered the most in the classroom. More likely than not, the more veteran teachers stuck to regimes and overdone routines that failed to stimulate the class. But of course there are exceptions on both sides.

Another interesting find, the proposed new assistant superintendent of administration and operational support in Billings school district 2 would make $115,000 a year starting off. That’s nearly double the highest paid teacher in the district and the teacher would need a Masters Degree and an earned National Certification.

Do you think Montana deserves the low mark for it’s teacher policies?


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