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Guess Who?

April 11, 2011

Hello, I am…

  • Generally trained on theory, but with few chances to put ideas to practice
  • Expected to the do the same job on day one as a 20 year veteran, with little to no supervision
  • Paid a fraction of what most of my peers are
  • Practically guaranteed to get tenure after three years on the job (which means it’ll be hard to get rid of me, even if I’m a poor performer!)
  • Financially rewarded for staying in the profession for my entire working career (that’ll make it even harder to get rid of me, even if I’m burnt out and ineffective)
  • Paid purely based on seniority and credentials (which are not tied to how well I actually do my job)
  • Evaluated based on a 15 minute observation
  • Rarely rewarded for strong performance
  • A teacher

Teachers are responsible for educating the next generation and have a greater impact on student outcomes than any other school factor. So why in the U.S. do we ignore all human resource management best practices, organizing our education system in such a way that fails to recruit, train, develop, and retain the best of the best?

The system can change, and donors can help. Some of the attributes above can only be affected through large-scale policy reform.  For example, adjusting teachers’ starting salaries in a given state is beyond the purview of an individual donor.  But what private donors can do is invest in teachers’ development and the work environments that support their success.

To find out how, read our latest investment report, High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality, which can be downloaded after completing a free registration on our website: www.impact.upenn.edu.

We will be presenting this work in the form of a donor education workshop to the University of Pennsylvania Board of Overseers in New York on April 21st.

We will be offering a similar session in Philadelphia on June 9th that will be open to donors and stakeholders more broadly.

If you would be interested in attending such a session, but are located in a different city, tell us where you are!

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