I received a very thoughtful letter from Ed Mulick and Jim Fleming, co-presidents of the Park City Education Association, in relation to my post on recent teacher contracts. Their letter provides information on research and their perspective on salaries.
Dear Park Rag,
As a teachers for over 25 years and most recently Co-Presidents of PCEA, you will not hear us arguing against your recent statements regarding the direct correlation, or lack thereof, between higher degrees and effective teaching, nor will hear us argue that endorsements always lead to more effective teaching. But you will hear us argue that they can’t hurt and should be encouraged in the teaching profession.
Good teaching is a combination of many variables. Some can be taught, but others are innate. It’s a cross between science and art. A good teacher needs to have many skills, a blue-collar work ethic, the mind of a scholar, the motivational skills of a good coach, and above all the heart of a understanding counselor. For many teachers, it’s a calling as much as a career.
Having said that, there may be one program out there that more reliably produces better teaching than any other, that is National Board Certification. There have been several studies that seem to indicate that obtaining a National Board Certification actually correlates directly into better teaching, whether you are a novice teacher or a master teacher. Under our current contract Park City teachers can earn more money can if they obtain this endorsement.
Please see the following link to learn more about this endorsement, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/04/01/board-certified-teachers-more-effective-new-studies-affirm.html
It is important to remember, since the passage of SB 64, teachers don’t automatically advance onto their next step each year, unless they pass their educator evaluations. Park City Teacher Association supports SB 64. Park City School District’s new licensed employee contract may not be perfect but it is a good compromise between a more traditional teacher contract and an incentive based contract.
Ed Mulick and Jim Fleming, Co-Presidents of PCEA