Monday, April 30, 2007

Center for Teacher Quality: Reward Leadership, not Seniority

Education reporter extraodinaire Jay Mathews covered a new report on revamping teacher pay:

Washington Post: Top Teachers Issue Call for Revamped Pay Plans (04/30/07)

"Tired of reports by business executives and Cabinet officers on how to fix U.S. schools, 18 award-winning teachers produced their own recommendations this month, starting with a major overhaul of how teachers are paid."

Produced by the Center for Teacher Quality in North Carolina, the report can be found here:

The plan is based on, "three tiers -- novice, professional and expert -- and schools should stop paying teachers more just because they have more years on the job."

Quoting from Jay's article:

"In particular, the group said, pay plans should "reward leadership, not seniority." It said that "qualified teachers who take on additional responsibilities -- mentoring novices and peers and preparing new teachers, creating family- and community-outreach programs, serving on advisory councils and the like -- should be paid for their time outside the classroom." And the jobs should go not to the oldest teachers but to the ones with the best classroom results, the group said."

The report has a chart on page 18 that give some good starting points for discussion. There are several components to the proposed pay structure. There would be a base salary, which would be augmented with "Career Salary Suppliments".

Student Learning would be rewarded with evidence of impact, whether it’s in a teachers own classroom or beyond. There would be rewards for using test scores and other measures to improve student learning, and bonuses for building and using new assessments.

Rewards would be provided for participating in or creating researched-based professional development, mentoring new teachers, and spreading knowledge and skills throughout the district and state.

Market needs would impact compensation by paying teachers that chose to teach in high-needs schools, subjects, and assignments.

Leadership compensation would be available for those that would mentor, coaching and leading community development. "Experts" might serve in state and national leadership roles to develop new products help to shape new policies.

Here is a grid from the report that sheds some light on their ideas (the full grid can be found on page 18):

Exp. LevelBase-Salary RangeStudent LearningKnowledge and SkillsMarket NeedsLeadershipCan Earn
Novice (1–4yrs)$30K – $45KUp to 5%Up to 5%Up to $5,000Not ReadyUp to $55,000
Advanced (5–10yrs)$46K – $55KUp to 10%Up to 10%Up to $10,000Up to 10%Up to $85,000
Expert (10yrs+)$56K – $70KUp to 15%Up to 15% Up to $15,000Up to 15% Up to $130,000

We need to find a way to pay more to those that truly make a difference, and do it in a way that is fiscally sustainable.

Obviously the rates would change depending on a market, just as salaries in the private sector vary depending on location. But overall this is a model that looks familiar to those of us in business, and I hope it can be given serious consideration.

==> Mike

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