School to pay ALL teachers $125,000+/year

So, do you think increased salary will allow a school to hire and retain the best teachers? A new charter school in NYC is going to attempt to find out. This innovative middle school is going to spend the next 15 months recruiting top teachers (who meet their rigorous standards) from all over the place. The starting pay for all teachers is $125,000/year AND teachers can earn an additional $25,000/year in bonus. Now, there are some unique expectations to this staggering compensation plan including teaching, learning and leading activities built into every day. While the day and year is longer* it also builds in (and compensates for) the time for teachers to become masters of their craft by recognizing that preps, observations, and other professional activities contribute to overall teacher quality. Notice that teachers at this school only teach 4 blocks/day (and they are single subject).

Teacher Day

Most interesting to me is the concept of teacher's observing each other. My school has been talking about the benefits of this activity and we are recognizing the challenges (mostly due to time related issues). This school builds colleague observation into every day:

Each teacher observes his/her partner teacher 1 period per day and is observed by his/her partner teacher 1 period per day. Sharing common prep periods allows partner teachers to debrief the observations and plan lessons together.

I have to say I'm really interested in the research that is going to be generated from this site. When you get a chance, check out the links in this post and let me know if you think this will be a successful model or not. Would you be willing to work in a school like this? What do you think of their expectations, especially the teacher-leader ones?

* I know many teachers who put in similar hours and ARE NOT compensated for it.