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NGA Announces Alternative-Compensation Initiative

The National Governors Association just announced that it has selected six states to participate in a "policy academy" to create new methods for compensating teachers.

Such methods could include performance-based pay, but also higher pay for teachers who: take on tough assignments; teach in shortage fields such as math and science; and assume "master" teacher roles.

They would include a new type of alternative pay I haven't heard about before: "Retention" pay, a one-time boost for teachers that make it through the challenging early years of their teaching careers.

A statement from the NGA says that the academy will pair governors' education-policy staff with chief state school officers, teachers' union leaders, and national experts to create strategies within the states.

And it's good timing, too, with $200 million for alternative compensation included in the federal stimulus package.

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