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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Report Recommends Teacher Incentive Pay Measures

A report released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation states that "teacher incentive pay programs in Texas school districts have produced higher test scores, higher state accountability rankings, improved teacher morale, and less teacher turnover."

The report, “Paying for Results: Examining Incentive Pay in Texas,” states in its executive summary that most school districts across the country pay teachers with an outdated teacher salary schedule that rewards all teachers equally regardless of performance.

"This one-size-fits-all compensation structure limits the flexibility of school board members and superintendents to strategically target resources to meet local needs, attract talent in shortage areas, reward excellent teaching, and improve student achievement," the report further states.

Austin, Dallas and Lamesa school districts are currently implementing teacher incentive pay measures and have yielded highter test scores and accountability rankings and improved teacher morale.

Recommendations for state lawmakers:

-Eliminating the state minimum salary schedule, which rewards longevity over effectiveness in the classroom.
-Refusing to tie local school districts hands by giving all teachers in the state an across-the-board pay raise.
-Continuing to support and fund teacher incentive pay programs.
-Removing any roadblocks to reform at the state level • that hinder local school districts from having the flexibility to design a compensation system that meets their needs.
-Local school board members and school administrators should consider:
Eliminating their locally adopted salary schedule and replacing it with a base salary.
-Targeting resources where the money can be most effective such as:
Paying teachers a shortage stipend for teaching in a locally determined shortage areas; paying teachers a stipend for working in a low-performing school; rewarding large student gains in learning with a bonus; and linking pay raises and bonuses to positive performance reviews and improvement in the classroom.
-Discontinuing across-the-board pay raises which do not take into account individual teacher performance.
-Discontinuing the practice of paying teachers more for possession of a Master’s degree which has no affect on teacher effectiveness.

For the full report, click here.


Blogger BobbyWC said...

I do not much disagree with this except the dangers of not recognizing the role of foundation teachers.

The 9th grade World Geography teacher is not going to get reviewed in the same way as the 11grade social studies teacher who does final TAKS preparation.

If the 9th grade teacher does not do his/her job then the students will have catch-up in 10th and 11th.

I think once the end of year tests replace TAKS, if they are used in every grade, then I will more inclined to be 100% in favor of this.

Bobby WC

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Rob Nixon said...

Who would of thought that competition in schools would actually benefit students?

Wow, what a concept

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fairness, it should be noted that this seems to be a libertarian think tank. I'm sure a liberal think tank (i.e. a university) can come up with a study that contradicts these results.

I like the concept of merit pay if there are evaluation guidelines for effective teaching that go beyond test scores.

Patricia A.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

I more carefully read this, - they are proposing getting rid of the pay difference between people with a BA/BS vs. MA/MS - for me this proves the study is by people who have no knowledge of reality.

Under the dual credit program the teacher must have an MA/MS - are they suggesting teachers who are teaching dual credit courses do not deserve higher pay.

If they fail as teachers fire them - but recognize they have assets which benefit the students which the regular teacher does not.

Another problem with the testing variable is there is a classroom mix of students which does not always lead to equality.

At Oliveira you have a sub teaching 7th grade math - two months from now a teacher comes in and has to clean up the mess created by two months of a sub - is that fair? - not hardly

BObby WC

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of pay leads to those who put on the best show and brown nose the best get the raises. Until we have administrators that recognize that being liked the best and not questioning anything does not equal quality teaching this won't work. The people that propose these things are not in the classroom.

Thursday, September 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please do not forget teachers at the charter schools. they do alot too and it is not easy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the great travesties of the present system is its failure to significantly reward teachers with advanced degrees in their teaching fields. The statement that a Master's degree has no effect on teacher effectiveness goes well beyond mere misrepresentation of the facts and suggests an agenda which undermines any credibility the rest of the proposal has (and it does have a lot to spare).

Monday, September 22, 2008  
Blogger jbar55 said...

This is from a admitted conservative group which thinks schools can be run like businesses. Students are not "widgets" to be created. Do things need to be changed and improved? Yes. Is merit pay the answer? No, although my district will be opting in this year. I will not change my level of dedication to my students whether I'm in the chosen pilot group or not. I've taught for 25 years and still make less than most college graduates their first year out. I have a masters. I continually update my knowledge. I've just received a grant to buy iPods for my team so kids can create their own educational podcasts to help ELL students and others with study guides, reviews, and more. Will I drop this if I don't get extra money? No. Let's have some people who have actually "walked the walk" in education give some input. When you have no control over the "input" it's ridiculous to expect the exact same "output". Teachers earn paltry salaries with little respect and are easy targets when it comes to finger pointing. Are there bad ones? Yes, I've seen them, worked with them and my own children have had them. But there are a lot more good than bad. Pay a living wage, where teachers can afford to own a house AND send their kids to college without a second mortgage and you MIGHT see a different pool of prospective teachers. I love what I do, but I encourage my own children to find something other than teaching as a career. They won't be able to make it to middle class status if they do.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008  

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