Teachers will advance up pay “steps” based on performance, not years served, under the new model.
As reported in the Lawrenceville Patch
The Gwinnett County Board of Education on Thursday approved a new teacher compensation system designed to reward employees for performance.
The new framework will be phased in over the next two years, beginning in August of this year.
“We have great teachers in every one of our schools and we worked hard to create a framework that recognizes that fact,” said schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “It’s a framework that rewards our best teachers, not just at the district level but at the school level as well.”
The first phase of the plan moves the school district to a performance-based salary schedule beginning next year. All teachers and certified staff who are paid on the district’s teacher-salary schedule will transition to that system starting in August.
In the 2018-19 school year, the district will implement the plan’s second phase, which provides performance-based awards to teachers based on four factors — professional growth, the teacher’s rating on the state’s Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards evaluation, student growth and the local Weighted School Assessment.
The exact methodology that will be used to calculate points earned for each of those metrics will be finalized in late fall of this year, the school system says.
Performance-based awards will go to the 10 percent of eligible teachers who earn the highest scores system-wide, the highest 10 percent at each school and the second-highest 10 percent at each school.
The new schedule has 29 steps, as does the current schedule. However, annual performance, not time on the job, will determine movement to the next step.
No staff member will lose base salary compensation when Gwinnett schools transitions to the new schedule. The new schedule acknowledges a teacher’s current education level, as well as advanced degrees as they are earned.
“Our move to a performance-based compensation system has been years in the making,” said Wilbanks. “We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and the favorable reactions from our teachers and leaders.
One of the most exciting aspects of this new system is that it will allow us to reward those who have proven to be our most effective teachers. That will give us a distinct advantage in both recruiting great teachers and retaining the very best in Gwinnett County Public Schools.”
School officials began investigating new teacher-compensation system’s in 2007. The work was suspended when Georgia was awarded a federal Race To The Top grant, which stressed teacher effectiveness. But, in December 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal’s education reform commission released recommendations that included a call for school districts to develop new teacher-compensation models.
The school district worked with external advisers to study compensation models used by other school districts and to gather input from key stakeholders — including GCPS teachers and other leaders.
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