Teacher pay for performance-Doing things right.

This isn’t an in-depth post on the complex topic of teacher pay for performance.  This is, however, a little story with a powerful lesson learned.

Earlier this week, our small but mighty Distinctive Schools teacher team, heard the report from their colleagues assigned to our teacher compensation task force, about the framework the teacher team has recommended.  Link to their report is here: http://distinctiveschools.org/compensation-task-force/

My major lessons learned are as follows:

1.  On the matters of school reform and teacher pay for performance-doing the work with teachers and not to teachers remains the best approach.  This isn’t for feel-good reasons.  Including teachers flat out helps us get better results on any/all of our changes for improvements.

2.  Good teachers know and more and more expect that pay for performance is coming and is a result of taxpayers demanding more accountability from us all.  And, almost always, poorly-performing teachers fight it.

3.  Teacher pay for performance cannot be used to excuse ourselves from paying teachers (everywhere) more money.  They flat-out do not make what they deserve, and our Nation desperately needs them to be paid more.

4.  Team based compensation and multiple performance measures must underpin every pay for performance plan.

5.  Leaders must help to solve obstacles to improved teacher and student performance and also be provided incentives for their teachers to do well in the pay for performance plan.

6.  None of the work on teacher pay for performance should skirt the issues of teacher performance feedback, teacher coaching, and mid-course correction for students as we all work to accelerate the achievement of our kids.

7. There is a lot of very well developed research on the issue of teacher pay for performance.  The profession knows how to use PPF well, and where the land mines are.  Question is, do we have the courage and the patience to play to the research?!

Great job DS teacher compensation task force.  I heard much in the way of positive feedback on your work from many other teachers.  It is framework that will guide the DS network well, and will also drive fairness and performance more deeply into our culture.

Thank you to the task force and to Mary Stafford for the great vision on this topic.

JW

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