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New Columbus Contract Includes Pay Program

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Columbus has inked a new teacher contract with a pay program that's designed to move highly effective teachers into challenging schools, according to this story (hat tip to Emmy over at Flypaper.)

After reviewing student growth data, a principal's recommendation and an application, the district superintendent will invite select teachers to work in hard-to-staff schools and receive a $4,000 annual pay bonus.

The story says that the new contract also ties bonuses under a separate performance-pay initiative to the value-added data.

I'm a little surprised to see that the local union approved this plan, since the pay raises it includes aren't astronomical. Also, for some good reasons, the teachers' unions have been hesitant to rely on value-added methodologies as an estimate of teacher effectiveness.

But Ohio has been piloting value-added data since 2006, and maybe enough teachers in Columbus have been reassured through that process that the data were valid (If you're from Columbus, why not post a comment below and weigh in?).

Given this new contract, what are the odds of Columbus applying for some of the $650 million in district innovation funding included in the stimulus bill? The new program seems like a conscious effort to address the inequitable distribution of teachers, and it appears to have strong union support.

1 Comment

I'm not suprised. There is a fundamental difference between using value-added for bonus, as opposed to accountability. And if its done in a way that encourages collaboration and energizes people to tackle challenges that hurt kids, the problems shrink.

If an imperfect model gives you a little more or a little less of a bonus every few years, that's no biggie. But if those imperfections place your career in jeopardy every few years, that is a teacher-killer. Even if the law of averages or flaws in the model don't put your career in jeopardy, do you want to live under that threat and that stress?

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