City moves ahead on performance pay for teachers
by Lindsay Field
September 16, 2013 12:15 AM | 4309 views | 8 8 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Marietta Board of Education this week unanimously approved developing a performance-based pay system for teachers that would take effect for the 2015-16 school year.

When determining how a teacher will be paid, the new system will factor in student performance and achievement on standardized tests, in addition to the results of a new, more in-depth evaluation for teachers and administrators created by the Georgia Department of Education.

Right now, salaries are determined by years of experience and the number of degrees and certifications teachers hold, rather than how well a student performs in the classroom.

“We directed (Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck) to go to faculty meetings and inform them of what this whole compensation redesign means for them,” said Board Chair Randy Weiner.

He also said that no one on the board hesitated about moving forward with the vote. It was originally scheduled to be up for consideration at the board’s Sept. 17 meeting.

“The only thing we stressed is that the new evaluation document must be solid and they assured us that it would be,” Weiner said.

Education Resource Strategies, a Watertown, Mass.-based nonprofit hired last fall to analyze how the district is using its money, gave a two-hour, 68-page presentation to the board last Friday about how the system could best redesign teacher salaries and the benefits of it.

“The goal is to attract and retain only highly effective teachers and the poor performing teachers will defect to different careers,” Weiner said. “Today, teachers are treated the same, regardless of how effective they are in the classroom, and I think that should be a thing of the past and it will be if the board approves this framework later this month.”

Marietta and Fulton County Schools are the only two school districts in the state planning to roll out the new model. The plan will be fully implemented in the 2015-16 school year.

Lembeck will present the initial plans to develop the new system at Tuesday’s board meeting.

“There is still tons more work to do and it will be done with tremendous input from our teachers, school governance teams and others,” said board member Jill Mutimer.

Mutimer, who has had a new salary system on her radar since first being elected to the board eight years ago, said she understands there’s a lot of information that still needs to be collected.

“I’m going to dig in and get it all explained to me,” she said. “I want to do all the work I need to do to understand all the numbers.”

Connie Jackson, president of the teacher advocacy group Cobb County Association of Educators, saw the presentation last week and said her organization is still undecided on whether members fully support it.

“As a teacher, I personally think it’s exciting that there will be so many opportunities to grow,” she said. “I do worry that taking away experience and degrees is a dramatic shift in education standards, but the reality is that education compensation reform is coming and we just all need to be aware and informed and make the best choices for everyone.”

She said some members are excited to start the new program, but others are still leery and want the teacher and leader evaluations to be solid before moving forward.

“This is the first year that they are going to be using the evaluation district wide, so you want to make sure that everybody gets trained and understands it well,” she said. “Until you assure that, you can’t go into the compensation change.”

The board voted on the new system during its Tuesday meeting.

Comments
(8)
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Joying 2
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September 17, 2013
Is the Cobb County School Board planning to fall into the same situation as that of Atlanta's situation reference students moving forward without proper knowledge? Please do NOT raise teachers' salaries in relation to students' performances! Every school Principal and his associates should be able to visit classrooms in

order to know how well teachers are teaching their

subjects and weather the teachers are in close

association with ALL of their students.

Sincerely,

A teacher of 31 years
Husband of a Teacher
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September 17, 2013
I think it is an outstanding plan to cut cost, but will do nothing for quality of teachers or morale. This same plan should be implemented for all government workers Federal, State, City, County,& Politicians (especially politicians - they would owe money back) and do not leave out the parents of the children who do not perform. Good luck on getting them to perform
Reggie s.
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September 16, 2013
I agree that the School Board should be held to the same contract and standards! You are about to screw up a few people's lives! We are grateful for the effort of most of the teachers in this Country? I for one would not put up with most of the disrespectful, lice carrying kids that are sent to these teachers to change what the lack of parenting has produced. There ought to be some support training for those who need to improve, not throw all there dedication and education down the drain because they have a class of mischievous students! They for the most part are not miracle workers!
Back to the Future
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September 16, 2013
Me thinks I see a cheating scandal in MPS's future....
Meg Norris
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September 16, 2013
Research shows very clearly that standards based instruction and testing combined with teacher evaluation tied to test scores forces teachers to teach "test-prep." This is not fair to the students nor the teachers. Marietta parents need to stop this craziness. We have an entire generation of kids who cannot think because of NCLB. Only parents can change things. Opt your kids out of testing (it measures nothing). If there is no data teachers will finally be free to teach our children and our children will be free to think and learn without the stress of these crazy tests.
acountability
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September 16, 2013
Performance-based pay system for teachers is a great idea. The only concern I have is what kind of metrics Central Office is using to evaluate the IB Coordinators, Literacy Specialist, Math Specialist and other positions recently created by the Superintendent and the inexperienced Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Is there research to support the impact of these positions in the classroom? The fact is these same positions were unsuccessful at Marietta City Schools in the past. I hope the board is creating metrics to hold these employees accountable. I would recommend that board shadow these employees to better understand their contribution or lack of contribution. Additionally, I would recommend teachers providing confidential feedback on these employees. It appears that the Superintendent does not have a strategy; she struggles to reach the school system’s educational goals. She continues to spend money by increasing headcount in areas that have proven to be unsuccessful in the past.

MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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September 16, 2013
I think that the salaries of those on the "Board of Education" should be determined/judged by the same standards.
I agree
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September 16, 2013
You're spot on! I would give them all a 10% raise based on the great things coming out of the Marietta School system. Man - great insight -thanks for mentioning it! i'm paying out of district fees so my kids can attend - and love every minute of it.
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