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Dallas Approves Plan to Link Teacher Pay to Evaluation

Dallas school board members have approved, by a 7-2 vote, a plan by Superintendent Mike Miles that will tie all teachers' pay raises to their classroom-evaluation results.

Teachers will be judged on a combination of observations, test scores, and student surveys. After their initial placement, they have the opportunity to move up to higher performance bands, each of which contains a pay boost, as shown in the chart below. To reach the highest levels, they'll have to satisfy a district-level teaching review in addition to getting a satisfactory evaluation from their principal.

The plan, passed by the board May 22, will be fleshed out in 2014-15, with teachers given their placements at the end of that year. The schedule will take effect in 2015-16.

Overall, the plan sounds a lot like the one that Miles put into place as superintendent in his former district, Harrison District 2 in Colorado Springs. That plan won a lot of attention for being among the first in the country to tie educators' base-pay raises to their evaluation results. (Most experiments with performance pay, to date, have simply layered bonuses on top of the existing salary schedule, rather than fundamentally restructuring it.) 

Teachers were split on the proposal, with some speaking in favor of it and others wondering if teacher performance would be fairly and accurately measured.

Miles had a rocky first few years in Dallas, as my colleagues have reported at the District Dossier blog.

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