The promise of more money has not exactly sent school districts in Minnesota rushing to embrace Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s widely touted Q Comp performance-pay plan for teachers. After three years, in 2007-08, only 39 of the state’s 334 districts and 21 charter schools had signed up for it.
Part of it might have to do with the fact that the plan requires local unions to get on board. And as is well known by now, unions are not the biggest fans of performance pay, although Minneapolis had implemented a popular, union-approved performance-pay plan before Q Comp.
Now Pawlenty, a Republican, wants Q Comp to focus even more aggressively on student test scores, under a proposal he’ll make to the state legislature, according to this AP story. Under the current plan, 60 percent of a teacher’s salary raise is based on factors like teacher evaluations and student growth. One-time bonuses can be awarded for, among other things, schoolwide progress on student growth. Career-advancement opportunities are also available to those who wish to become mentors or lead teachers.
Besides changing Q Comp, Pawlenty also has plans to improve the teacher workforce: He will seek tougher entrance and testing requirements for college students thinking about becoming teachers and will attempt to open classrooms to scientists and other professionals looking for a career change.
But exactly what is causing him to believe that tying student test scores to performance pay is going to be the answer to Q Comp’s limited popularity?
If you can figure that one out, let us know.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.