New York City has announced a pilot program that, with the help of federal funding, will enable select teachers to earn bonuses of 30 percent next year—possibly amounting to salaries of up to $130,000. The program applies to teachers—classified as either master teachers or turnaround teachers—who are hired to work in 11 designated schools that have been labeled as “persistently lowest achieving.” (So we’re definitely not talking about easy money here.) Master teachers would receive 30 percent salary increases, while turnaround teachers would get 15 percent.
It isn’t at all clear from the various news reports what exactly those classifications mean, but, according to the Wall Street Journal, qualifying teachers would “have to have proven track records in moving students forward, either by test scores or other measures.” They would be “receiving extraordinary increases in compensation based on performance,” John White, NYC deputy schools chancellor, is quoted as saying.
In related news, our Education Week colleague Stephen Sawchuk has an interesting post up on a new report showing that Denver’s pioneering and much-watched performance-pay program may be improving the quality of teachers in the district, as well as boosting retention in hard-to-serve schools. But didn’t we just read something about some study finding that another much-talked-about performance-pay program had no discernible impact on student achievement? Yes, we did. But Sawchuk can tell you how the studies and the programs differ, if that’s your thing.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.