Teaching Profession

Report Highlights Features of Districts’ Differentiated-Pay Systems

By Stephen Sawchuk — February 17, 2015 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An interesting report issued Feb. 17 by the Center for American Progress outlines the differing features of ten districts that have restructured their entire teacher-compensation systems.

The districts in question are Baltimore, Denver, Douglas County, Colo., Harrison District 2 (Colo)., Hillsborough County, Fla., Lawrence, Mass., New Haven, Conn., Pittsburgh, Putnam County, Tenn., and Washington. (CAP is a Washington-based think tank with ties to the Obama administration.)

These districts have set varying criteria for awarding salary increases—rather than layering “bonus” pay on top of the existing salary schedule (typically determined by experience and credentials held). The report calls them “first-mover” districts for that reason. (To be fair, several of them still reward for holding a master’s degree, but experience no longer guarantees an increase.)

Here’s a handy chart from the report itemizing the pay features of the new systems.

The report is generally positive about the changes, noting, for instance, that teachers can earn a top salary within nine years in Harrison District 2, up from 27 under the old pay schedule, and eight years in D.C., up from 21. Of course, all of these districts tie raises to some type of performance measure, such as teacher evaluations. And although the report doesn’t focus on this, they’ve certainly all had their fair share of policy debates about whether those performance measures are accurate and implemented consistently.

Also of interest: Most of the districts, as expected, let the top teachers earn significantly more than they would have under the old systems. But the report indicates that “typical,” proficient teachers also tend to earn more than previously and in some cases have closed the gap with other professional salaries in the same metropolitan areas (as benchmarked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

From a research perspective, the impact of these systems is still pretty much an open question, since many of them haven’t been studied in depth. (Many recent studies looking at bonus pay have found no effect. But there appear to be some positive signs for transfer bonuses and at least one study suggesting that Washington’s system has had an impact.)

But from my perspective, it’s simply helpful having a rundown of the features included in these compensation system.

I’ve covered some of these districts’ plans in detail, including those in the Harrison district, New Haven, and most recently Baltimore, so check them out for more details.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read
Teaching Profession With Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, Some Teachers May Face Discipline
With a vaccine now fully FDA-approved, more states and districts will likely require school staff get vaccinated. The logistics are tricky.
9 min read
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state in Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2021. California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward, Calif. California is among those states requiring all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Terry Chea/AP
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Why This Science Teacher Doesn't Want the COVID Vaccine
Contrary to public health guidance, Davis Eidahl, an Iowa high school teacher, has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week