From the folks over at Standing Together for Strong Community Schools:
From the folks over at Standing Together for Strong Community Schools:
The voucher debate now looks like campaign season with a huge advertising purchase by the American Federation for Children, a DC based education group that promotes vouchers. The Tennessee Journal (not available online) first reported on Friday that the Federation was buying ad spaces.
The Tennessee Federation for Children has been running cable TV ads in Tipton and Rutherford counties, declaring that Reps. Debra Moody (R-Covington) and Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro), both members
of the Education Subcommittee, can make a difference on the issue. The ads do not mention a specific bill.
This weekend, the federation is adding cable and digital ads in the districts of Reps. Mary Littleton (R-Dickson), Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), and Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville). Williams is on the Education Committee.
By Friday afternoon, the Associated Press reported an 800k ad buy the group.
An official familiar with the plans tells The Associated Press that the state chapter of the American Federation for Children is spending $800,000 on broadcast television, cable and radio advertising – a vast amount for political advertising or issue advocacy in the state.
Tennessean Reporter Joey Garrison has heard pro vouchers ads since January on 92Q, a radio station located in Nashville.
This isn’t the first time that the American Federation for Children has thrown thousands of dollars into Tennessee. The group spent almost $36,000 to help reelect Representative John Deberry during the last campaign season. We knew this was coming once the Federation hired Chip Saltsman to promote school vouchers in Tennessee. Saltsman is the former chief of staff for US Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), former chair of the TNGOP, and served as campaign manger for Huckabee’s 2008 presidential run.
The Federation isn’t the only group that is running TV ads. Again from The Tennessee Journal:
Meanwhile, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, formerly the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, has been airing a TV ad on broadcast stations in Nashville and Knoxville promoting “scholarships and choice for K-12 students.” It also doesn’t mention a particular bill.
This comes at a time when some legislators (specifically Sen. Brian Kelsey) want to see a bigger voucher bill than what has been proposed by Gov. Haslam. The Tennessee Education Report will keep you update on any changes to the current voucher bill.
The results of the Survey of the American Teacher for 2012 are out and guess what? Teachers aren’t very happy. Teacher job satisfaction is at an all-time low and has dropped 23 points over the past five years, including a 5-point drop between 2011 and 2012.
Guess what happens to people who aren’t very satisfied with their work? 1) They don’t do it very well and 2) They end up leaving that job and finding something more satisfying.
But why? What might be making teachers so dissatisfied?
Well, the value-proposition for teachers is not a great one, for starters. Pay is not great and support is not great and so teachers don’t feel good about their relative value.
Specific to Tennessee, a number of “reforms” have taken shape in recent years that no doubt contribute to the unhappiness of the Tennessee teacher.
First, there was the successful effort to end collective bargaining in Tennessee. This in spite of the fact that no evidence was shown that this would improve student outcomes. Collective bargaining in Tennessee was mostly about giving teachers a seat at the table when budgets and salaries and resources were discussed. Rarely did teachers strike and they certainly never held Boards hostage for huge pay increases. In fact, many local teacher’s associations bargained for textbooks and other resources for students in place of raises for the teachers. One middle Tennessee district’s teachers offered to forego a raise for the length of a 3-year contract in exchange for keeping the health insurance match intact. Instead, the teachers saw their portion of health insurance increase and have so far gone without a local raise for six years. Now, with no seat at the table at all, teachers across Tennessee have even less input into district operations and resources. And it’s not like Tennessee’s state or local governments are lavishing high pay and impressive resources on teachers.
The same year that collective bargaining ended for Tennessee teachers, the state implemented a new evaluation system. Policymakers seemed to think it was more important to get the evaluations in place than to get them right. And there have been changes in the first two years and more changes coming. Imagine being told by your boss that there are certain standards you have to meet. Then being told that all of that will now change. And then change again next year and the year after that. How secure would you feel about your job? That’s what Tennessee teachers are facing.
This year, instead of focusing on boosting teacher pay or increasing support through mentoring or coaching programs or adding more resources to schools, legislators are focused on an unproven (and in the case of one Vanderbilt study — proven NOT to work) performance pay schemes.
And the Governor is focused on adding an even less proven and likely expensive voucher scheme to the mix.
This is a state that truly took a step forward with the BEP back in 1992. Then stopped fully-funding it when it got too expensive about six years later. Then, Pre-K was expanded. And the expansion has stopped because finding the money became too difficult. And possibly because it became trendy to suggest that we could improve our schools without making new investments in the people in them. Four classes of 4-year-olds have become kindergarteners since the last expansion of Pre-K. This in a state with one of the lowest rates of college degree attainment. That’s four years worth of students who are significantly less likely to graduate from high school. And for those who do, they are far less ready for college than they would have been if they had enjoyed access to the high-quality Pre-K program Tennessee offers a fraction of its families.
The BEP was reformed as BEP 2.0 around 2007. That reform, too, proved too expensive. Many districts around our state would have seen significant increases had the new BEP been fully-funded these last few years. Instead, budget challenges (and unwillingness to raise revenue) at the local level have meant stagnation in teacher pay and a lack of resources for students.
Tennessee’s education policy history is fraught with examples like these. Well-meaning reforms and investments thwarted when the going gets tough and finding money for schools gets too difficult.
And now, we’re asking more from our teachers than ever before with less pay, no seat at the table, and few resources. Is it any wonder they are dissatisfied?
Following yesterday’s House Education Subcommittee meeting covering HB 0702/SB 0830, which creates a state-level charter school authorizer, most news outlets related this particular piece of legislation to the rejected application of Great Hearts Academies in their desire to open five charter schools in Nashville. We did too. It got me thinking about the nomenclature, having referred to the Great Hearts story more than once myself. Without further ado, a working list (the first two are me):
There’s a dissertation here somewhere, I’m sure of it.
It’s here. As many (including myself) have predicted in the wake of the Great Hearts fallout in Nashville, Tennessee Republicans have filed legislation to give the state Board of Education the power to authorize (i.e., create) charter schools in Tennessee. An amendment that rewrites HB 0702/SB 0830, heretofore an innocuous bill that increased the time to appeal an adverse charter decision from 10 days to 20 days, will be introduced tomorrow. This caption bill has now been replaced by a bill that does quite a bit more.
The full text of the amendment can be found here. The pertinent parts are reproduced and discussed below.
(1) The state Board of Education can now directly grant charter schools.
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-13-104, is amended by deleting subdivision (4) in its entirety and substituting instead:
(4) “Chartering authority” means:
(A) The local board of education or the achievement school district as defined in § 49-1-614 that approves, renews or decides to to revoke a public charter school application or agreement; or
(B) The state board of education, if the state board approves:
(i) A charter school under § 49-13-141 when an LEA is the sponsor of a charter school; or
(ii) A charter school directly under § 49-13-109.
(2) There is no appeal of the State Board’s decision, if application is made directly to the State Board in the first instance.
SECTION 4. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-13-110(b), is amended by deleting the punctuation “.” at the end of the second sentence and substituting instead the following language:
; provided, that if the chartering authority is the state board of education, then no appeal may be made of the state board’s decision to deny a petition to amend the charter
(3) A charter submitting a renewal application can apply either to the LEA that originally authorized it OR to the State Board. If the application is made to the state Board, there is no appeal.
SECTION 8. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-13-121(b), is amended by designating the existing language as subdivision (1) and by adding the following language as new subdivision (2):
(2) If the state board of education is the chartering authority of a charter school, the school may submit its renewal application to either the LEA or the state board. If the school submits its renewal application to the state board, then the decision of the state board on the application is final and may not be appealed.
(4) Charters denied renewal or fighting revocation have ten days to appeal the decision to the state Board, except in certain cases.
SECTION 10. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-13-122(c), is amended by deleting the subsection in its entirety and by substituting instead the following:
(1) If the chartering authority is an LEA, a decision by the LEA not to renew or revoke a charter agreement may be appealed to the state board of education within ten (10) days of the decision, except for revocations or failures to renew based on the violations specified in subdivision (a)(2). Appeals from revocations or decisions not to renew a charter agreement shall be in accordance with § 49-13-108.
(2) If the chartering authority is not an LEA, a decision by the chartering authority not to renew or revoke a charter agreement is final and may not be appealed.
(5) This is the big one: This only applies to Nashville (and maybe Memphis*).
SECTION 11. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 13, is amended by adding the following language as a new section:
(a) If an LEA is located in a county having a population of more than six hundred thousand (600,000) according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census and if there have been two (2) or more denials of charter school applications remanded to the LEA by the state board of education with instructions for approval pursuant to § 49-13-108, then a charter school sponsor may apply directly to the state board for approval, and, if approved, the state board shall serve as the chartering authority. The state board’s decision to approve or deny an application under this subsection shall be final and not subject to appeal.
(b) The department of education shall assist the state board with general oversight of any charter school authorized by the state board, including assisting with monitoring compliance with § 49-13-111 and the school’s adherence to the charter agreement.
(c) For accountability purposes under § 49-1-602, except for schools authorized under § 49-13-141, the performance of a charter school authorized by the state board shall not be attributable to the LEA.
(d) Funding for charter schools authorized by the state board shall be in accordance with § 49-13-112, except that the LEA in which the charter school operates shall pay to the department one hundred percent (100%) of the per student share of local funding and any federal funding in the custody of the LEA that is due to the charter school. The department shall withhold from the LEA the per student share of state funding that is due to the charter school as well as any federal funding in the custody of the department that is due to the charter school. The department shall then allocate and disburse these funds to the charter school in accordance with procedures developed by the department.
(e) The department shall determine the amount of the state BEP non-classroom component for capital outlay to be distributed to a charter school authorized by the state board according to § 49-13-112(c). The LEA shall pay to the department the required local match under the BEP for capital outlay as a non-classroom component for distribution to the charter school.
(f) A charter school authorized by the state board may contract with the LEA in which the school operate for school support services or student support services, including, but not limited to, food services and transportation.
A few things to note:
* I can’t say for sure that this applies to Memphis, because I don’t know if MCS/SCS has had two charter denials go up on appeal and get reversed. Memphis certainly qualifies in terms of population.
Here is a look at the schedule for the week ahead. Bills are starting to trickle into committees. Remember that the bill filing deadline in Feb. 14.
There are no bills on notice in House Education. There will be presentations from the following people:
Tennessee Charter Schools Association, Matt Throckmorton, Executive Director
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Robert C. Enlow, President
CEO Putnam County Schools Virtual Learning Center, Jerry Boyd, Director of Schools, Sam Brooks, Virtual Learning Coordinator, Dr. Sharon Anderson, 7-12 Curriculum Supervisor
The subcommittee will take up nine bills.
1.HB702 M. White
Extends from 10 days to 20 days the time for appeal from a decision denying an application from the LEA to the state board of education..
2.HB839 T. Weaver
Age requirements for pre-K and Kindergarten. Changes the date that an at-risk child must be four years old by to enroll in prekindergarten programs. Allows children who have participated in private school prekindergarten programs and Head Start prekindergarten programs, in addition to LEA prekindergarten programs, to enter kindergarten in the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 school years.
3.HB369 G. Johnson
Gives teachers who teach in multiple subject areas until July 1, 2014, to pass the content area tests in the subject areas in which they are teaching.
4.HB249 D. White
Allows special education teachers and alternative school teachers who teach in more than one subject area in which there is an end of course examination until July 1, 2014, to pass the content area tests in the subject areas in which they are teaching
5.HB151 G. McCormick (Administration bill)
Enrollment caps for virtual schools. Prohibits initial enrollment in a public virtual school from exceeding 1,500 students. Requires that students residing outside the LEA establishing the virtual school represent no more than twenty-five percent of the virtual school’s enrollment. Establishes that a public virtual school may exceed the total enrollment and out-of-district enrollment caps if the school demonstrates student achievement growth at a minimum level of “at expectations” as represented by the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System. Prohibits the total enrollment from ever exceeding 5,000 students. Grants the commissioner the authority to reinstitute enrollment caps or direct the LEA to close the school when a public virtual school identified as a priority school demonstrates student growth at a level of “significantly below expectations.”
6.HB366 D. Hawk
Requires each center of regional excellence (CORE) and the LEAs it serves to establish a regional virtual school.
7.HB385 H. Love Jr.
Requires public virtual schools to meet the same class size requirements as regular public schools.
8.HB421 J. Pitts
Permits the commissioner of education to place any virtual school that fails to meet the performance standards set by the state board of education in the achievement school district.
9.HB728 M. Stewart
Terminates the Virtual Public Schools Act on June 30, 2013 rather than June 30, 2015 as is in current law.
CHAIR OF EXCELLENCE IN DYSLEXIC STUDIES
MR. JIM HERMAN AND MS. KATHERINE DAVIS MURFREE OF MTSU
The committee will take up eight bills:
1. SB8 by Summerville
Enacts the “Higher Education Equality Act” to prevent institutions of higher education from granting preferences based on race, gender or ethnicity to students, employees or contractors. –
2. SB19 by Tracy
Establishes an additional award, the STEM stipend, from net lottery proceeds for Tennessee HOPE scholarship recipients who are majoring in STEM fields; sets STEM stipend at $1,000 for the 2013-2014 academic year subject to appropriation and sufficient net lottery proceeds.
3. SB208 by Gresham
Enacts the “Military Education Assistance for Tennessee Act,” which provides eligibility for in state tuition to certain honorably dischargedveterans; creates tuition waiver program for members of the Tennessee state guard with at least one year of service and tuition discount program for the spouses of such members.
4. SB233 by Kelsey
As introduced, allows an LEA, in its discretion, to determine whether to continue employment of a nontenured teacher who taught in a school prior to the school’s transfer to the ASD.
5. SB531 by Dickerson
Includes the full ACT report of each LEA to the annual report published by the commissioner of education; requires the report to be published on the department of education web site.
6. SB532 by Dickerson
As introduced, changes the release date of the state report card from November 1 to October 1; revises the provisions governing the performances goals and assessments by requiring the department of education to provide raw test score data and teacher effect data to LEAs no later than May 1.
7. SB538 by Bell
Changes the definition of “homeschool student” for purposes of the Tennessee HOPE scholarship to require that a student be home schooled the last year of high school instead of the last two years of high school.
8. SB547 by Bell
Prohibits displaying messages supporting or opposing referenda and initiatives on LEA or school signs or LEA-owned buildings; prohibits video or audio messages supporting or opposing referenda and initiatives being sent via LEA or school telephonic or electronic systems or accounts.
There are four bills (could be more out there) that I am currently tracking that deal with guns in schools. I wanted to break down these bills so that you can keep an eye on them. Some of these bills deal only with guns, but some can take away funding from schools if they don’t comply. As we have seen from the Great Hearts drama, the Tennessee Department of Education will withhold funds.
1. SB77/HB633 Faculty and staff allowed to carry firearms. By Senator Stacey Campfield and Representative Joshua Evans.
This legislation would allow faculty or staff, if properly trained, to carry firearms on K-12 public school property. If staff wants to carry a firearm, they must receive the same training that a school resource officer would have to complete. The Tennessee Code Annotated lists this as the training SROs most go through.
TCA 49-6-4217: Employment standards for school resource officers.
(a) Training courses for school resource officers shall be designed specifically for school policing and shall be administered by an entity or organization approved by the peace officers standards and training (POST) commission.
(b) School resource officers shall participate in forty (40) hours of basic training in school policing within twelve (12) months of assignment to a school. Every year thereafter they shall participate in a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of training specific to school policing that has been approved by the POST commission.
(c) Within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the school term, each LEA shall publish and deliver to the commissioner an annual report of the employment standards adopted by the LEA. The report shall include a description of the LEA’s methods of enforcing the employment standards.
The bill also states that staff can only carry guns if there are no SROs in that school. Finally, the bill states that if the LEA bans guns, they are civilly liable for any criminal activity that takes place.
(B) Any local education agency that prohibits persons from possessing and carrying a handgun pursuant to subdivision (f)(2)(A) shall be civilly liable for any damages, personal injury or death that results from a criminal act by any person not authorized to be in the school in which the prohibition was in effect.
This bill does give local control to the individual LEAs to make the decision to allow staff to carry guns at school. It looks like many counties around middle Tennessee are trying to add SROs into every school. If a school district has SROs in every school, the LEA cannot allow guns in any school.
2.SB472/HB504 Requires SRO or similarly trained staff in every school. By Senator Frank Nicely and Representative Eric Watson.
This bill is very similar to the bill above. It would require each LEA to have a school resource officer OR similarly trained staff. A school district could save money by not hiring a SRO but allow a staff member to be trained.
The most important part of this bill comes next.
(c) If an LEA fails to establish a plan in compliance with this section or fails to follow a plan established pursuant to this section, the commissioner may withhold state funds, in an amount determined by the commissioner, from the LEA until the LEA is in compliance.
Yes. You have read that correctly. If a school decides not to have an armed staff member or SRO in their school, Kevin Huffman could withhold funds. As Nashville knows, that could end up in the millions.
3. SB481/HB324 Teachers may go armed. By Senator Janice Bowling and Representative Joe Carr.
This piece of legislation goes further than the previous two. This legislation would allow any employee of a pre-K or K-12 to carry a firearm if they meet certain requirements. Even if there is a SRO in the school, staff may still go armed.
The employees must meet these requirements:
This bill also has local control. The staff member must get approval from the local school board before they can go armed. The school board could deny that request.
4. SB570/HB6 Allows K-12 school personnel to possess a firearm at school. By Senator Nicely and Representative Eric Watson.
This bill has some differences from the other Nicely/Watson bill including the types of bullets, the type of training, and liability coverage.
Here are the requirements to be able to possess a firearm at school:
(B) No local school district in which the director of schools authorizes a faculty or staff member to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to this subdivision (e)(8) shall be held liable in any civil action for damages,
injuries, or death resulting from or arising out of a faculty or staff member’s actions involving a firearm carried or possessed on school property unless the board of education or superintendent knew of or
intentionally solicited or procured the faculty or staff member’s actions involving a firearm that resulted in the harm.
I am no lawyer, but this reads that a LEA cannot be held liable if a teacher accidentally shoots and kills a student unless the LEA “solicited or procured” the staff members actions.
That’s the first look at the guns in schools legislation. It is a long process to becoming law and many of these bills could change drastically with amendments. Keep following Tennessee Education Report for updates regarding these bills.
I applaud SCORE CEO Jamie Woodson and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman for their column advocating a sharper focus on teacher quality in Tennessee. They point out that Tennessee’s colleges should be more selective in terms of who enters teacher preparation programs and also that teacher licensure should be a more rigorous process. These are both laudable goals.
Their basis for making this argument is research suggesting that a child’s teacher is the number one school-based factor influencing student achievement.
Let’s be clear about what this means before we go further. Most research suggests that school-based factors account for roughly 50% of the impact on student achievement. Non-school factors (home life, poverty, education level of parents, etc.) account for the other 50%. Of school-based factors, a child’s teacher can impact up to 50% of student achievement. That makes it the biggest school-based influencer on student achievement. But it also means teacher quality accounts for 25% of the impact on student achievement. 75% is beyond the teacher’s control. At that level, you could have amazing teachers and get the other 75% wrong and the student will still struggle and likely fail.
That said, school systems can only really control school-based factors and of those, teacher quality is the one with the biggest potential for influence. So, it makes sense to focus attention there. Of course, it also makes sense to ensure that schools are clean and safe, that class size is optimized, that principals are instructional leaders, and that the overall environment is conducive to learning. But focusing on teachers from a policy perspective is a sensible approach to impacting student achievement.
So, let’s examine the specific proposals put forth by Huffman and Woodson. First, they propose a more selective process for admission into teacher preparation programs. Next, they suggest making licensure a more rigorous process.
Again, both are sensible proposals.
Here’s the challenge in Tennessee. In order to be more selective about who becomes a candidate for a job or who is admitted to a program, the overall value proposition has to be high. Fields like law and medicine lure academic high achievers because the outlook for successful completers is positive. Career satisfaction, good pay, prestige. By contrast, teaching has a low value proposition. Many teachers in Tennessee will retire never earning what even the average lawyer or doctor makes. The attrition rate for teaching is high. Nearly 50% of teachers leave the field in their first five years, according to Richard Ingersoll. That means teaching is tough and the field weeds out those who can’t or don’t want to do the demanding work involved on the front end.
So, why would a college student choose to submit to a highly selective process for admission to a teacher education program only to enter a field where there’s a good chance they won’t make it past the first five years and if they do, they’ll earn far less than other professionals? They simply won’t. Which is why the bar for admission right now is relatively low.
To change this, Tennessee policymakers must stop talking about what they can do TO teachers and start talking about what they can do FOR teachers.
John covered the issue of performance pay in some depth. However, this plan appears to rely solely on a reallocation or infusion of local dollars to fund a new pay scheme. There’s no mention of additional state dollars or a revamping of the BEP to allow for the performance pay envisioned in the bill. Plus, as John points out, a study of performance pay by Vanderbilt of teachers in Tennessee shows such a scheme is not likely to be effective.
What does work, as indicated in this London School of Economics study, is paying teachers more. The study indicates that raising teacher pay has a clear link to student achievement. Raise pay 10%, student performance goes up roughly 10%. Why? Making the field more attractive does two things: It encourages people to pursue teaching and stay in the field AND it adds to the prestige of the profession (which also helps with retention of high performers). Metro Nashville Public Schools has some experience with this as when they moved to a new pay scale setting a minimum salary of $40,000 ($6,000 more than it had been) and enabling teachers to reach the top of the scale in 15 years rather than 25, they saw three times as many applicants for teaching jobs than they had in the past. The value proposition went up and MNPS was able to choose among applicants for the best fits for open positions.
Of course, changing the value proposition is not just about paying teachers more. It is also about ensuring they have the support they need to succeed.
One area of support is meaningful induction. That means a focused mentoring program in the first two to three years of a teacher’s career. Research at the New Teacher Center suggests that a meaningful induction program improves both teacher retention AND student learning. Tennessee has no comprehensive teacher induction program and no funding on the table to support such a plan.
Yes, we should accelerate our efforts around teacher quality in Tennessee. But if we focus solely on doing to instead of for teachers, we’ll run out of gas (and teachers) before we get very far down the road.
Sen. Dolores Gresham, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Glen Casada (somewhat curiously, since he isn’t on the House Education Committee) have filed legislation to create a pay-for-performance system for teacher pay in Tennessee tied closely to the new evaluation system. The key here? Compensation would not based directly on value-added scores, but rather on how a teacher does on his/her evaluation (which itself is composed of at least 35%, but up to 50% value-added scores)
Senate Bill 0827/House Bill 0619 establishes a new compensation system based on a “maximum base salary schedule” to be set by a district, plus performance-based “salary adjustments” and “supplements” for various other things (teaching in high-need subjects, teaching in high-needs schools, taking on leadership roles, etc.) The broad strokes are that this bill would mandate that local Boards create new salary schedules adhering to certain minimum requirements and restrictions (the most important of which is that pay for years of experience or tenure is absolutely barred).
A few important things to get out of the way first:
(1) This applies to licensed teachers. The new salary schedule would apply to “instructional personnel,” which is defined as “any person with a license to teach in an LEA” under state rules and regulations but excluding substitute teachers. This would include counselors, librarians, etc.
(2) This applies to new hires, rehires, and new teachers. The new salary schedule would apply to new hires in 2014 and beyond OR personnel “returning to the district after a break in service without an authorized leave of absence” (for example, parents who take a year or two off from teaching to stay home with young kids) OR personnel “appointed for the first time to a position in the district in the capacity of instructional personnel.”
(3) Anyone can opt-in, but there’s no going back if you do. Any “instructional personnel” can opt-in to the plan, but “any employee who opts into the performance salary schedule may not return to the grandfathered salary schedule.”
With that out of the way, here’s the way the new pay schedule would work:
(1) A Board would establish a base salary schedule with a cap (the “maximum base salary”). The Board has a certain amount of freedom to do this: (1) for opt-in folks, it will be their salary from the previous year, plus up to a 5% cost of living adjustment and (2) for new folks, it will be whatever the Board wants.
(2) The Board then establishes its salary adjustment. There’s not a lot of specificity as to what these would be, but presumably it’s an across-the-board compensation bump for those who qualify. The “salary adjustment” comes with requirements designed to get folks to opt-in to the new payment system:
(3) Finally, the Board establishes salary supplements. These also come with requirements designed to entice teachers into high-need schools, high-need subjects, etc. (Note: Many systems, including MNPS, already offer some or all of these types of bonuses (sometimes referred to as “combat pay”)). Salary supplements are to be available for the following reasons, and only to teachers scoring a 3 or above on their evaluation (i.e., “meets” or “exceeds expectations”):
That’s the basic structure: Base salary + salary adjustments (up to a cap) + salary supplements = total salary. There are some obvious methods to try to entice current teachers to opt-in (e.g., salary adjustments MUST be great than the existing step-raise under the old plan), as well as some efforts to get teachers allocate themselves where they are needed (e.g., supplements for high-need subjects, Title I schools, etc.).
Some thoughts, though there will be a bit more analysis/discussion later: There are certainly other compensation systems that are even more closely tied to test scores, with the same base salary + adjustment + supplement regime. In other states (e.g., Colorado), some supplements are explicitly based on a teacher’s value-added scores, a school’s value-added scores, etc. This kind of direct pay-for-performance was examined by our own Peabody College, and found, experimentally, to be ineffective at raising student achievement.
Rather, this is a pretty tight fit with (and big investment in) our new evaluation system. Rather than paying strictly for increased value-added scores (as some reform advocates would like), the new compensation system would weigh heavily on the outcome of a teacher’s evaluation. Given that the State is adjusting the evaluation system as well, to decrease the prevalence of 3, 4, and 5 scores, the success of this new compensation system will depend largely on the success of the underlying evaluation system, for good or ill.
Note: For further reading, the Comptroller has a pretty extensive recent report on alternative salary schedules. Disclaimer: I haven’t read the whole thing yet.
Edited to include item number 5 under “Restrictions.” An earlier version of this post included this information, but it was inadvertently deleted in the final version.
Here is a look at the legislative week ahead for the Education Committees.
The House Education Committee will hear from Brent Easley of StudentsFirst. Brent Easley is a former Senior Research and Policy Analyst for the House Republican Caucus who recently took the post of State Director for StudentsFirst.
The committee will take up House Joint Resolution 10 (Deberry), which designates January 27-February 2, 2013, as “School Choice Week” in Tennessee.
The committee will take up three items.
1. SJR17– Gresham- Recognizes importance of neurological or brain science in the training of teacher candidates and encourages such training in teacher prep programs in state universities.
2. SB18 -Gresham – As introduced, prohibits an LEA or school from adopting an attendance policy that exempts students who have been absent less than a specified number of days from taking examinations or tests required of other students.
3. SB59 -Gresham- As introduced, authorizes and encourages teacher training programs at public institutions of higher education to offer coursework on neurological or brain science research.