Home' Teacher : Jan-Feb 2011 Contents 74 teacher january/ f ebruary 2011
sultation and validation process to check
with teachers and principals on their appli-
cability and usefulness.
There were a few issues to come out
of that consultation and validation. One
was the focus on schools and classrooms,
despite the fact that many educators work
in other settings; another was ambiguity
as to which standards are to be mandatory
and which voluntary; a third was that the
differentiation between the graduate, pro-
ficient, highly accomplished and lead teach-
ers standards is not clear.
All three go to the heart of the PM’s new
performance management system.
So far as the first goes, it’s the best class-
room teachers who’ll receive a performa nce
bonus. What about those in non- s chool
settings or specialists in schools who don’t
work in classrooms?
So far as the second goes, it’s now appar-
ently going to be mandatory. The AITSL
graduate and proficient levels were expected
to be tied to compulsory teacher registration
or accreditation, while the highly accom-
plished and lead teacher levels would be
voluntary. Not any more, if the PM really
is going to require teachers to participate in
the performa nce ma nagement fra mework
and if it really is going to be based on the
n ational professional standards.
And so far as the third goes, it’s anyone’s
guess as to how the PM’s 25,000 10 per-
centers will divvied up across AITSL’s four
categories. Likewise, it’s a nyone’s guess as
to what effect that divvying up will have
on applications across the four categories.
Then there’s the question of receiving a
performance bonus each year. Can a 2014
10 percenter get another one in 2015?
The real question, of course, is whether
this thing will actually happen. T
This month’s Last Word was written by
Steve Holden, Editor of Teacher and a
likely candidate to be identified as one
of the 90 percenters not to receive a
performance bonus each year. His latest
book is Somebody to Love published by
University of Queensland Press.
Remember the Commonwealth government ’s
election promise last year to pay the top 10
per cent of teachers a bonus based on their
performance? If – and it’s a big if – the pol-
icy really has legs, the Australian Institute
of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)
is apparently developing what Prime Min -
ister Julia Gillard described in August as ‘a
nationally consistent , tra nsparent and equita-
ble performance management system,’ called
the Australian teacher performance manage-
ment pri nciples and procedures – or, catchy
and so pronou nceable, ATPMPP for short.
The PM’s breathtaking election policy
offering back in August was that, ‘All teach-
ers will be required to participate in the per-
forma nce ma nagement fra mework and, for
the first time, every teacher in the country
will be potentially eligible for a bonus pay-
ment if they are a top performer.’
According to the PM, ‘A rou nd one in 10
or about 25,000 of the best classroom teach-
ers would receive a performance bonus each
year.’ On the PM’s figures, that means AITSL
will be assessing about 250,000 teach-
ers. Mind you, the number of registered or
accredited teachers is a lot higher – 380,000
or more – since there a re ma ny practicing
educators outside schools and many qualified
educators who aren’t currently teaching, so
AITSL really will have its work cut out.
The PM’s performance management
assessment plan will apparently be based on
lesson observations , student performance
results based on things like National Assess-
me nt Program – Literacy and Numeracy
test results, feedback from parents, and the
qualifications and professional development
activity of teachers. Using the new system,
the nation’s top-performing teachers who’ll
be eligible for a bonus a re apparently going
to be identified by early 2014, based on their
performance in 2013.
The idea is that the new performance
m anagement system will be based on
AITSL’s new national professional stand-
ards for teachers, expected to be in place
this year. The standards specify the profi-
ciency, and skills and knowledge expected
of graduate, proficient, highly accomplished
and lead teachers in terms of subject content ,
pedagogy and professional development.
AITSL has been busily developing the
national professional standards with a con-
steve hOlden WonDERS WhAT’S hAPPEnED To ThE
CommonWEALTh GoVERnmEnT’S PERFoRmAnCE
BonuS PRomISED In LAST YEAR’S ELECTIon.
The last word
Bonus or bogus?
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