This paper looks at five areas of teacher contracts: compensation, teacher evaluation and discipline, transfer policies and their relationship to seniority, layoffs, and provisions that deal with work load, length of the work year, and the work day.
About David Ballou
Dale Ballou is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1989. Prior to that, he spent several years teaching in a variety of settings, including a midwestern middle school, an adult education center in New Haven, Connecticut, and a private boarding school in Massachusetts. As an economist, his research has focused on policies affecting education reform¾in particular, the role of incentives and regulation in the training, recruitment, and retention of teachers. His work has appeared in professional economics journals as well as publications for a broader audience like The Public Interest and Education Week. Together with Michael Podgursky of the University of Missouri, he is the author of Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality. This study found that despite a significant increase in teacher salaries during the 1980’s, there was little or no discernible improvement in the quality of newly recruited teachers. Professor Ballou has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on education issues and has advised the Massachusetts legislature and the Board of Higher Education on policies related to school financing, teacher licensure, and teacher compensation. His current research deals with personnel policies in charter schools, teacher testing, and the role of unions in education reform.
This report is an initial effort to provide systematic information on teacher contracts in Massachusetts. In the summer of 1999, the Pioneer Institute solicited copies of the current contract from all districts in the state. From those that responded, 40 districts were selected to reflect the diverse makeup of the Commonwealth. Although there was no attempt to make the sample statistically representative, the three largest urban systems were included, along with a sample of suburbs and small towns.