06/08/2011 05:36 pm ET | Updated Aug 08, 2011

LAUSD Should Stop Compensating Teachers For Grad Courses, Says Report

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) should stop compensating teachers for completing graduate-level coursework, according to a new report released by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The findings, laid out in "Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD," reveal that the school district spends 25 percent of its payroll ($519 million) compensating teachers for taking graduate-level coursework, reports the LA Times.

While many industries award bigger salaries to workers who have completed higher levels of education, there is no proven correlation between completing graduate classes and being a highly effective teacher.

Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, recommended that the money be diverted to award high-performing teachers or to recruit teachers with a proven track record of success.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy put forth an almost identical proposal last month. In a panel produced by NBC's Education Nation, Deasy expressed a desire to redirect funds used to compensate teachers for graduate degrees to teachers delivering results:

I actually don't want qualified teachers in the classroom. I want highly effective teachers in the classroom.

We have structures in our salary agreements which are not bad -- they're just ineffective. So you pay someone for getting a master's degree... and you pay them that amount for the rest of their life as long as they're teaching. And you make no difference whether that actual master's degree has any effect whatsoever on their job. They just get that for the rest of their life.

Then we go to the universities and say, "is there a relationship between having a master's degree and being an effective teacher?" There's none. But we will still pay that forever.

Deasy addresses the topic at minute 57:30.

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