During the Q&A session, he did not use as many buzz words as Pedro Martinez and emphasized listening and reflecting on practice for all - administrators and teachers. He recognized that he has some teaching experience, although it was a long time ago. As concerned with his emphasis on merit-based pay, I asked the following question:
Thank you for being with us Dr. Hite. My name is Brian Cohen and I am a high school math teacher at the Academy at
Palumbo. As a math teacher I focus a lot on numbers and how data analysis drives decision-making.
Research shows that teacher quality is one of the most important in-school factors to promoting achievement of our
students. Some (including myself) would argue that retaining high-quality teachers is one of the best uses of the budget to
increase student learning.
This morning you mentioned that the Financial Incentives Rewards for Supervisors and Teachers program may not have
been the best use of funds for promoting teacher retention in Prince George County schools. And, according to the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation 2012 study entitled "Primary Sources" only 16% of teachers feel that performance pay helps to
retain good teachers. With contract negotiations coming in August 2013, what is your plan to retain high quality teachers in
Dr. Hite responded with an explanation of what they did in Prince George's County and how they learned what teachers really wanted in the end: they wanted support from strong, consistent leadership. So, with that in mind, they are changing the system for the next year.
While I am aware and concerned that an interview is no way of determining exactly how an individual will function in the role of superintendent, I have to say that I liked what Dr. Hite had to say and how he said it. If he ends up getting the job, I only hope he continues to listen to students, parents, and teachers to inform his decision-making.