Virginia Offers $5,000 Merit Grants To Teachers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Offers $5,000 Merit Grants To Teachers

Play associated audio

A select 169 schools in 57 districts are eligible to compete for the awards, in which individual teachers could receive a maximum of five thousand dollars.

Charles Pyle with the Virginia Department of Education says they’re now revising guidelines on how teachers will be evaluated, but he acknowledges student achievement will be a big part of it.

By that, however, he doesn't just mean test scores, he says. "What we don't want to say is that students in this class have earned relatively high scores so therefore we must conclude this is an effective teacher," he says.

"We want to look beyond that and look at the growth of the students," he adds.

Still some critics say there’s no evidence that merit-pay initiatives lead to better student performance. Kitty Boitnott, president of the Virginia Education Association, has other concerns -- mainly related to the current teacher pay scale.

"The General Assembly has offered numerous times to get our teachers to the national average, and we're still nowhere near that," she says. "And now we're going to offer limited incentive to just a handful of people."

Eligible districts have until June 15 to apply for the program, and grants will be announced later in the summer.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady, aka Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.