This guide shows how districts can design teacher career paths that will keep excellent teachers in the classroom and extend their reach to more students, for more pay, within budget. When districts design these paths, they create opportunities for excellent teachers to reach more students directly and by leading teaching teams, for solid teachers to contribute to excellence immediately, and for all teachers to receive the support and development they deserve. The full guide walks a district through the organizing steps and details of designing Opportunity Culture pay and career paths that fit its needs and values. It includes an overview of key Opportunity Culture concepts, graphics and explanations detailing new school models and roles, and assistance for evaluating the impact of different compensation design choices. The steps guide districts to ensuring financial sustainability and designing a complete career lattice. The summary provides a brief overview and graphics that show how pay and career paths work at a glance.
Teacher and Leader Compensation
In this report for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Public Impact takes an in-depth look at principal hiring practices in five urban districts. Despite making improvements, our primary finding is that principal hiring practices continue to fall short of what is needed, effectively causing needy schools to lose out on leaders with the potential to be great. So what to do? Districts must improve their hiring practices to take a more active approach to principal recruitment, evaluate candidates against the competencies and skills that successful principals are known to possess, carefully design a placement process that matches schools’ needs with candidates’ strengths, and continually evaluate hiring efforts to ensure that they are effectively recruiting, selecting, and placing the leaders that schools depend on for success. Our research also suggests that better hiring practices alone are only part of the solution; districts must also re-imagine the principal’s role so that it is a job that talented leaders want and are equipped to execute successfully. See the companion infographic for a quick summary.
Teachers: If you are an excellent teacher or one who aspires to excellence, this two-page report explains how schools can use redesigned jobs and career paths to help you stay enthusiastic about teaching, reach more students, and lead your peers, for more pay. With input from teachers and other experts, Public Impact has published numerous school models that offer different possibilities for time use and role flexibility, making the best use of great teachers’ valuable time and returning the respect you deserve by paying more for reaching more students with excellence.
This webpage contains links to financial analyses of three of the 20+ Opportunity Culture school models. Savings and cost calculations of the models—Elementary Subject Specialization, Multi-Classroom Leadership, and Time-Technology Swap Rotation—illustrate that schools could increase excellent teachers’ pay up to approximately 130%, without increasing class sizes and within existing budgets. In some variations, schools may pay all teachers more, sustainably. Combining these and other sustainable models to extend the reach of excellent teachers and promote excellence by all instructional staff may produce even greater savings to fund teacher pay increases and other priorities, while producing excellent student outcomes. A financial planning summary provides an overview of the expected savings and costs of implementing all school model categories.
In this report for the Center for American Progress, Julie Kowal, Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel examine teacher compensation policies in charter and private schools for lessons to help traditional public schools more effectively draw and keep high-quality teachers. The authors looked to national surveys of charter and private schools and interviews with leading charter and private school networks for their answers to major questions that animate the current debates over teacher pay in public schools. Their findings, presented at CAP in February 2007, offer a picture of what school and district leaders can do with pay when they are free to use compensation as a tool to meet their goals.
Debate rages in education over whether to provide teachers with financial incentives in order to improve recruitment and retention in “hard-to-staff” schools and subject areas. In other public sectors—the civil service, military, and medicine—organizations take for granted that compensation is a powerful tool; they have moved from this debate about “whether” to a discussion of “how.” Experience from these domains suggests that a “portfolio” of incentives (including performance bonuses, loan repayment or scholarship programs, and other forms) may be most effective. As a component of this portfolio, performance-based incentives can boost both the recruitment and retention power of hard-to-staff pay—particularly for the high-potential candidates that we need most in hard-to-staff schools. [Read more…]
Despite proliferating chatter about the need to reform teacher compensation, the bulk of teacher pay remains fundamentally unchanged. This report by Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel, with research assistance from Julie Kowal and published by the NGA Center for Best Practices, sets forth a guiding principle for moving from talk to action—“pay for contribution.” Pay for contribution means investing more in teachers and teaching roles that contribute measurably more to student learning. Pay for contribution is particularly attractive to higher contributors. For this reason, it can help shape not only the performance of current teachers, but also the quality of the future teaching workforce by shifting who enters and stays in the profession. The report explains several approaches to pay for contribution and explores the research on how to design these strategies to get the best results. In addition, it explores related policy initiatives, such as data systems with teacher-level student learning results, that would help make pay for contribution happen.