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Teaching in a "troubled" school is more difficult, but higher salaries alone will not improve the test scores. More support in the classroom: good first teaching,an extended school day, response to intervention (RtI)instead of waiting for the student to fail.
As Ed Deming pointed out to the business world, 95% of the problem is management; the difficulties encountered in "Troubled Schools" are the result of management practices, not teacher performance in the classroom.
As in private industry, survey after survey places compensation at the bottom of the list for long term substantive personal motivation.
The root cause is the stubborn ignorance of administrators and politicians to reflect on the mess created by their own micro management of everything "school."
Granted, it is difficult to give up the victim mentality and the comfort zone that the adults in the system have created for themselves, with little if any regard for the needs of the customer, er, student.
Taking personal responsibility for your actions and doing something about it is a character trait missing in educational bureaucracies.
Higher teacher salaries are certainly worth a try. Troubled schools simply must make every effort to attract experienced, topnotch teachers for this work. On the other hand, strong school leadership and serious commitment to teacher support, such as mentor programs and purposeful professional development, are an absolute necessity as well.
It is more complicated than just a list. Keeping and attracting good/effective teachers is about changing the system - sufficient materials, accountability for all (including teachers,paras, support and administration), more instructional time, more planning time, and a structure for continuous improvement that is collegial and deep in knowledge/skills development. The administration needs to work hard, teachers need to work smarter, students need a system that builds on strengths - not deficits, AND the government needs to reward those that are doing it and hold in dire consequences those that are not!
While I believe that teachers should be paid more for taking on the challenges such schools bring, I also believe that improving working conditions and freeing those schools from the bureaucracy of district administration is also vital. District administrators are usually more concerned about money and lining their own pockets or preserving their own jobs than they are with providing for the education of students or support of teachers. My own district administration fights teachers and abuses students daily.
I didn't vote because I feel that the answer is a combination of the first two choices... Better pay, better facilities, and experienced successful administrators is the key to success in any situation. All teachers deserve a better pay rate. But also educators need to be educated about the children and the community that they are serving. What works in one neighborhood may not work in another... Also more after school activities should be offered and the educators that work these activities should be paid for their time.The schools in those areas also need to partner with area business and community leaders. When everyone has a stake in the school, the outcome is going to be a supportive, nurturing environment for the students, and a better understanding of the educators that are servicing them. The solutions are not hard, but takes courage and time to implement.
This is a difficult topic. First, it presumes that money is a motivator and that teaching experience alone is a measure of quality or work-effort. I work at a high-performing inner-city urban school (+90% econ. disadv. +50% Speakers of Lang other than Eng.) and we have hired experienced teachers from the "exemplary" schools in the district. In many cases, these teachers, despite their years teaching, don't cut it in our school. Why? They are not used to the variety of levels of students in one class. One even said, after her resignation, "You people work too hard here."
A better idea might be to offer higher salaries to retain those teachers that have previously made the committment to the school and have a proven record of increasing student acheivement with that population. I know this sounds a lot like Merit Pay - which I don't really favor but I believe that some student populations are more challenging than others and that those teachers who can and do increase student learning (authentic - not just measured by standardized tests) should be recognized and rewaded.
Suburban, affluent family schools and the tougher background schools are worlds apart. The teacher attrition rate is high because the students have little family support and more drug and social problems. That equals less time on higher thinking and more time getting the students out of their firing amygdala. I have watched many teachers from suburbia flee after less than a year when trying out a 'tougher' school, as the issues of the students are far more severe and require much a bigger tool belt to handle effectively.