Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Chicago school is ready for teacher performance pay"

This article discusses a federally funded trial program for performance based pay for teachers involving 20 Chicago schools.  The author, Carlos Sadovi, outlines the way the program works with teachers to improve their teaching skills as well as simply offer money in exchange for better academic results.  This is the most interesting aspect of the story, and Sadovi does a nice job of weaving the background factual information in with the key points.  The story's lead mentions the most newsworthy aspects as well as the two most important figures in the story.  The biggest weakness I found in this story is a series of consecutive paragraphs that introduce new sources without using any direct quotes.  The author elects to paraphrase information that I believe would have a bigger impact on the story if it were presented directly.  The end of the story gives more of a big picture look of how the performance based pay system could work in the future.  The article is well balanced, with contributions from those in favor of the performance based pay program as well as those who claim there is no conclusive evidence that it is an effective way to improve student learning.  Sadovi does a nice job with this story.

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