School systems are embracing new approaches to teacher evaluation and compensation that promote and reward teaching effectiveness as the key to student learning. The Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) is leading the way with technical assistance and evaluation services to help ensure the success of these new models by combining support and accountability. The Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program (TSL) is a federally-funded, competitive grant program that supports such efforts.
CTAC has shown that performance-based compensation, when implemented strategically, does more than reward excellence; it fosters excellence by expanding the district’s capacity to support classrooms and improve teaching quality.
Six Cornerstones of Success
As a national leader in performance-based compensation, CTAC helps districts achieve success by focusing on compensation reform that is:
- Systemic. Teachers’ instructional success requires support from multiple district systems. Putting compensation on the line creates a powerful incentive to upgrade the quality of those systems and ensure their alignment—with each other and with teachers’ real needs.
- Done with teachers, not to teachers. Success requires that partners be willing to redefine traditional relationships and create the new forms of collaboration necessary for developing and implementing the plans. Building trust and two-way communication are crucial.
- Organizationally sustainable. Sustainability requires commitment from the boardroom to the classroom. Change involves upgrading and aligning the entire district in support of classroom instruction.
- Financially sustainable. At the front end of the initiative, districts must project and plan for the financing required for long-term sustainability—anticipating possible future budget crunches or changes in leadership.
- Broadly supported. Constituency building is key as there needs to be a broad base of support in both the district and the community.
- Focused on students. The effort can’t lose sight of the goal of student academic growth. CTAC helps districts use multiple, valid measures of student learning to identify student progress and ascertain the contributions of frontline educators to that progress.
Using these cornerstones, CTAC has provided assistance throughout the U.S.—including trailblazers like the Denver Public Schools and Denver Classroom Teachers Association, which served as a catalyst for the performance-based system movement nationally.
For more information on performance-based compensation, please see:
- When Educators Learn, Students Learn
- Getting the Pieces Right: Professional Development, Compensation, and School-Wide Performance
- Leadership for Educators’ Advanced Performance: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Final Report
- It’s More than Money: Making Performance-Based Compensation Work
- Get Performance Pay Right: Six Cornerstones of Successful Compensation Reform