NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he wants to give a $20,000 yearly incentive to New York City teachers who consistently receive top performance reviews.
The raises, which would push the annual salary of the city's highest-paid teachers to $120,000, would be tied to a new rating system that has yet to be hammered out. Teachers would have to get top reviews two years in a row to qualify.
The mayor also vowed to cut half of the teachers in 33 of the lowest performing schools, without union consent.
"Historically, teachers unions around the country have opposed rewarding great teaching through merit pay, but more and more teachers are asking why," Bloomberg said Thursday in his State of the City address.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew told the New York Daily News research shows individual bonus programs to be ineffective as far as improving educational results.
"He wants to blame us for his failures, instead of taking ownership," he told the Daily News. "He's supposed to be the education mayor, and we've been clearly outspoken, telling people what is going on in the schools … . He continues to attack us."