Special Report
States

States Experiment With Pay for Performance

January 03, 2008 5 min read

Even among the small number of states with pay-for-performance programs, the particulars vary widely. Below are some details.

ALASKA
Alaska School Performance Initiative Program
Implemented: September 2007
Participation: 43 schools in 2007-08
Focus: Rewards based on whole-school performance
Criteria for rewards: Student growth on annual state tests
Incentives go to: All school employees
Amount of award: $1,000 to $5,500
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for the 2008-09 school year: $2.3 million

ARIZONA
Career-Ladder Program
Implemented: 1985
Participation: Funded in 28 districts since 1993
Focus: Career ladder
Criteria for rewards: Gains in student performance, improved teacher skills, increased teacher responsibility, professional growth
Incentives go to: Teachers
Amount of award: $3,000 to $7,000
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for the 2008-09 school year: $76.5 million

Classroom Site Fund
Implemented: 2000
Participation: All districts
Focus: Districts have latitude to design the plans
Criteria for rewards: Districts must use 40 percent of the funds for performance pay for teachers.
Incentives go to: Teachers
Amount of award: Varies by district
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for the 2008-09 school year: $358 million (latest available data)

ARKANSAS
Rewarding Excellence in Achievement Program
Implemented: 2007
Participation: Districts, public schools, and charter schools must apply for funds by March 2008, with phase-in starting in the 2008-09 school year.
Focus: Rewards based on individual teacher performance
Criteria for rewards: At least 51 percent of teachers at a participating school have to agree to the plan. Between 40 percent and 60 percent of the reward will be based on gains in student achievement, and the rest will be based on principal and peer evaluations. Plan requires districts to revise traditional pay systems.
Incentives go to: Teachers
Amount of award: Not yet determined
Nature of compensation: Districts may embed rewards in pay schedule.
State funding for the 2008-09 school year: $2.5 million

FLORIDA
Merit Award Program
Implemented: March 2007
Participation: 23 districts have applied for 2007-08 and 2008-09; four others applied for 2008-09 only
Focus: Rewards based on individual or instructional-team performance that leads to student growth and/or proficiency on state and district-level tests
Criteria for rewards: 60 percent of each teacher’s assessment based on growth in performance and/or proficiency of the individual teacher’s students; 40 percent based on principal evaluations
Incentives go to: Administrators, teachers, and other instructional personnel, including guidance counselors and instructional coaches
Amount of award: At least 5 percent, but no more than 10 percent, of the district’s average teacher salary
Nature of compensation: Reward on top of base pay
State funding for 2007-08 school year: Legislature awarded $147.5 million, but revoked that amount in October because of a budget shortfall.

MINNESOTA
Q-Comp, or Quality Compensation Program
Implemented: 2005
Participation: 39 districts, 21 charter schools in 2007-08 school year
Focus: Rewards based on multiple indicators, including student growth on annual state tests and teachers’ professional development
Criteria for rewards: Districts applying for Q-Comp funds must change their teacher-pay systems to include the following components: a career ladder and career-advancement options for teachers, professional development, a standards-based teacher-evaluation system, performance pay, and an alternative salary schedule.
Incentives go to: Teachers
Amount of award: Varies by district
Nature of compensation: Districts may embed rewards into pay schedule, or award as bonus pay.
State funding for 2007-08 school year: $78 million

NORTH CAROLINA
ABCs of Public Education
Implemented: 1996
Participation: 115 districts, plus 98 charter schools, in the 2006-07 school year
Focus: Rewards based on whole-school performance
Criteria for rewards: End-of-grade and end-of-course test results; also includes some nontest components, such as high school dropout rates
Incentives go to: All certified staff members and teachers’ aides
Amount of award: $1,500 per year for certified staff and $500 for teachers’ aides in schools exceeding expected growth standards; $750 per year for certified staff in schools and $375 for teachers’ aides in schools that meet expected growth standards
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for 2006-07 school year: $103 million (latest available data)

TEXAS
Governor’s Educator Excellence Award Program—Texas Educator Excellence Grant
Implemented: 2006
Participation: 1,046 schools in 2008-09
Focus: Schools with the highest number of high-poverty students that demonstrate the highest levels of student achievement or comparable improvement, as measured through the state accountability system
Criteria for rewards: Eligible schools that rank within the top half of campuses with the highest number of high-poverty students and receive ratings of “exemplary” or “recognized” in the state accountability system; also, campuses that rank in the top quartile for comparable improvement in math, reading, or both
Incentives go to: Teachers, principals, and other campus personnel who contribute to improved student achievement
Amount of award: $3,000 to $10,000 per teacher, unless otherwise approved by the campus, district, and local school board
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for 2008-09 school year: $97.5 million

Return to the Main Story

Return to the main story, Advancing Pay for Performance.

District Awards for Teaching Excellence
Implemented: 2007
Participation: 510 school districts in 2008-09
Focus: Rewards go to teachers who improve student academic achievement. Funds can also be used, among other purposes, to recruit and retain teachers, provide professional development, and reward principals and other school employees.
Criteria for rewards: Districts participate in technical assistance, design their own financial-award systems that meet local needs, and promote student academic improvement.
Incentives go to: Teachers, principals, and other school employees
Amount of award: $3,000 or more. Districts may decrease award to less than $3,000 with local school board approval (minimum $1,000).
Nature of compensation: Bonus on top of base pay
State funding for 2008-09 school year: $147.5 million

SOURCE: Education Week

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