- To reward strong teachers across the state
- To encourage them to teach in high poverty schools.
Another finding of the study relates to the second goal of increasing the number of NBCTs in high poverty schools. In the four years since the bonus for teaching in a high poverty school was implemented, less than 1% have switched each year to a challenging school. In the same period there was actually a net loss of NBCTs in these schools as 23 switched to challenging schools while 27 moved from challenging to non-challenging. The following two implications were identified by the authors based on the data from the research.
- The legislation has been ineffective at encouraging NBCTs to migrate to challenging schools, and NBCT bonuses have not improved teacher retention at challenging schools compared to all continuing teachers statewide.
- Local public and private money spent to boost candidates’ pass rates in turn affects the flow of state funding, to the advantage of districts that can subsidize teachers in their certification process. If the goal is to reward outstanding teaching statewide, then the influence of local spending on state bonus payments might be cause for concern.
The potential loss of the bonus due to the budget crisis in our state is unfortunate and certainly not something that these teachers anticipated as they made the commitment to work towards this certification. I hope that the legislators and governor consider this as they make the difficult decisions necessary to balance the state's budget.