Board mulls tying salaries to success

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Educators who stick around longer and those who earn an advanced degree earn a higher salary, regardless of how well they do their jobs.

But now Richmond County is considering tying pay to performance.

The school board has directed Superintendent Dana Bedden to begin looking into pay for performance for principals and teachers, a growing national trend.

"I don't have an official plan yet," Dr. Bedden said, but, "I think it's important that we try to reward performance."

Frank Dolan, the chairman of the school board's finance committee, likens the idea to the incentives written into the superintendent's contract.

"In the private sector, that's exactly how it works," said Mr. Dolan, a business owner.

"As bad as it is to say, I think some teachers are just marking time," he said.

The issue of performance pay is a hot one nationally, said Matthew Springer, the director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University. The idea, however, is nothing new. It's come up for about 150 years.

"Particularly in the past two decades, it's been a pretty heated debate," he said.

There has been no conclusive research showing the effectiveness of incentive pay in education, Dr. Springer said. Vanderbilt is working on what he called the first true experiment to answer that question, due out next year.

In theory, performance pay should motivate an educator to work harder or differently and also help retain high-performing educators, recruit other high-performers and align teachers' goals to the school system's, he said.

Performance pay has been shown to produce better outcomes in the business sector, Dr. Springer said, but he noted that the world of education differs greatly from the world of business, where performance can be easily measured by how much a person sells.

Dr. Springer said he supports innovation, but it needs to be based on sound policy.

The current salary system has only a marginal correlation to student performance, he said. A teacher's performance doesn't improve significantly after seven years on the job, and earning additional degrees only makes a slight difference and only if it is an advanced subject degree.

Dr. Springer said it's difficult to say how many school systems pay educators based on performance.

"It's safe to say it's growing," he said.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the state's largest group of educators, supports merit pay, spokesman Tim Callahan said, but the program should be based on the school's performance as a whole and shouldn't reward only one or two teachers within a school.

Mr. Dolan said giving teachers and principals an added incentive will result in better test scores.

"If you get the test scores up, enrollment will go up, budgetary numbers will go, everything will go up," he said.

The school board will discuss the issue at an upcoming retreat.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

PERFORMANCE PAY

Frank Dolan, the chairman of the Richmond County school board's finance committee, wants the board to consider performance pay for teachers and principals similar to the incentives offered to Superintendent Dana Bedden.


Most area school systems pay their superinten-dents a flat salary regardless of their performance. That includes Columbia, Aiken, Burke and McDuffie counties.
Some peer school systems, such as Savannah-Chatham County and Atlanta City, pay their superintendents based on how well they perform.


Savannah-Chatham's superintendent can earn an additional $40,000 on top of his base salary, and in Atlanta the superintendent can earn $82,000 in additional pay. Dr. Bedden can earn as much as $15,000 more if he meets the school board's goals.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 09/28/08 - 05:49 am
0
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Performance pay is definitely

Performance pay is definitely the right idea, instituting it is the sticking point. The pay would have to be based on the improved performance of the teachers students. How else would it be determined? When it's not uncommon for a teachers influence to manifest itself on a students performance until a year or two has passed, how do you credit the influencing teacher? This isn't factory work. AND, who will make the determination of positive influence? (remember Larke). One thing that should be reconsidered, though, is tenure. While it provides great security, it can also remove incentive as well as provide protection for undeserving individuals.

momma mia
2
Points
momma mia 09/28/08 - 08:04 am
0
0
I've always worked "pay for

I've always worked "pay for performance" jobs, and it is the best way to ensure quality. Why should someone be rewarded just for showing up to work? Where's the incentive to do your best if you know you'll get a raise just for being there?

Son of God
0
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Son of God 09/28/08 - 08:19 am
0
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Yes, pay performance is an

Yes, pay performance is an absolute neccessity. There are many teachers who have performed with high success of student achievement and high test scores in every area for many years. Theyhave also gone to school to get more than two degrees in higher education. I am glad that God has at least placed this idea in the mind of Dr. Bedden. I have witnessed teachers who have had extremely high test scores for years but have been bashed and tossed around by principals and denied credit for their high performance with the syudents. That's when God steps up to the plate and give rewards and promotions. Read Psalm 75. Yes, tenure is good to have but I know too many educators whose test scores are in the F zone year after year and they have been teaching close to thirty years.Why is this so? Teachers should get the attitude that if an elephant sits in the classroom daily, he will also come out with high test scores. Failure for our students is not an option but still I witness teachers who are really not trained by tradition to LOVE our students get high praises from the principal while the test scores decline. God always know when the HEART is in teaching and God will reward accordingly. I

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 09/28/08 - 08:27 am
0
0
I think it is so funny how

I think it is so funny how God brings about this. You see, Schools took him OUT and now Schools are finding that his principles really do work.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 09/28/08 - 08:34 am
0
0
I think performance pay would

I think performance pay would be a disservice to some teachers unless a teacher is given the student to raise. Think about it, a good teacher trys to get kids to behave, and their hands are tied, a good teacher gives out homework and parents don't make their kids do it, so who pays ultimately, the teacher. We had better think this one through very carefully. If teachers are tied to performance, why not the same standards across the board. What I mean is, if Bedden has a classroom in the system, that is over crowded, who takes the hit? Should the teacher be penalized or Bedded? And what about the board, shouldn't they be held accountable in some way? I just finished watching that group on TV and boy was I proud of them. They just validated my constant demand for putting the BUDGET on the web. The issue I was looking at concerned our paying thousands of dollars for sports ambulance support for every football game. The bottom line of their discussion was, we have been paying years for a service that they didn't understand and that was totally ineffective.

Son of God
0
Points
Son of God 09/28/08 - 08:35 am
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know that Dr. Bedden is doing

know that Dr. Bedden is doing a wonderful job because of some of the changes that have taken place in the Richmond County School System already. I pray that God will continue to guide him and give him wisdom as he make other much needed changes. It wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the teachers' test scores, especially the ones who have tenure and review them. Some of the results will be sad. Time out for playing church (school). Our students' lives are at stake here. All students can learn and we as educators should make sure that happens.There are so many people with high titles who come into the classrooms and order the teachers' steps, write them up for petty things, and offers no support. It is almost as a dictatorship. No matter what title one posseses in the Richmond County School System, we must ALL be on one accord. When a principal finds out that an executive official is coming in, the teachers have to walk the chalk line and put up all kinds of materials and displays so that they can put on a dog and pony show to impress the central office personnel. This should be happening everyday. They should come unannounced.Change is neccessary and change begins WITHIN. Students FIRST

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 09/28/08 - 09:16 am
0
0
What about teachers that

What about teachers that teacher in course areas that do not have standardize test as a means of measuring students' performance (vocational courses), how would you determine if guidance counselors (with salaries commensurate to teachers) are effective. and what about the coordinators how are you going to determine if they are providing the necessary services to assist teachers. Unless you have worked as a teacher it is difficult to understand how a poor guidance department at the high school level can impact student performance, how an assistant principal or coordinator can be a hindrance rather than support for teachers. It is not coincidental that many enter the teaching profession only to get the experience required to become guidance counselors, assistant principals, coordinators, and any other position that is suppose to be one of teacher support, however instead many end up being just another layer of bureaucracy. It is not by chance that very few high school students choose teaching as a career, colleges have a minimum of graduates earning degrees in teacher education, and a large percentage of people enter education when they cannot find jobs in their area.

Captain Awesome
0
Points
Captain Awesome 09/28/08 - 09:22 am
0
0
Performance pay is a good

Performance pay is a good idea, but the teacher salaries need to be competitive with those of jobs that could be filled with similar qualifications. If we can't do that, let's at least afford them the respect they deserve.

fran
1
Points
fran 09/28/08 - 09:40 am
0
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Mr. Dolan, you are living in

Mr. Dolan, you are living in a fantasy world. When is the last time you even stepped into a classroom? I am a 29 yr. veteran teacher of schools in Richmond, Aiken, and Columbia Counties. Throughout my career I have purposefully chosen to teach students with low performances in Reading and Math. But, I do not believe that student performance should be tied to teacher's salaries. I have long been a advocate of Spring to Spring testing, tracking only those students who are still attending that particular school. The No Child Left Behind method of basing growth on the comparison of scores from 2 entirely groups of students is still ludicrous in my mind. Growth should be shown over time using the same group of students. To me these people who are advocating pay-for-performance are clueless. Have they seen the child who is fighting lukemia try to come to class each day, do they know the one who has missed 3 days in one week because of head lice? Have they talked to the child who's mother has just been murdered? Have they helped monitor the child with diabetes? Have they tried to teach a child to read who has had only a few hrs of sleep? (just a very few examples!) Maybe Mr.

fran
1
Points
fran 09/28/08 - 09:40 am
0
0
Dolan's salary should be tied

Dolan's salary should be tied to how far above the red line the RCBOE budget stays...

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 09/28/08 - 09:53 am
0
0
Furthermore, when it is

Furthermore, when it is dictated to teachers what their classroom should look like, what should happen step by step in their lessons, based on the theory of a Standards Base Classroom, rather than focusing on being creative and utilizing the strategies that may have proven to be more effective for the teacher. Whether their students have high performance scores or not, all teachers must make sure that their lessons fit into the model just in case someone pops in to evaluate them, because if they don't have a word wall (even in high school) or they don't have the essential question on the board, or the standard posted, in addition to following the prescribed procedures, they can receive an unsatisfactory evaluation. The Standards Base Class strategy has its advantages, but one size rarely fits all. This strategy seems to be used simply to make it easy on the evaluator. It is just amazing how the emphasis is placed on differentiated learning, however there is not room for differentiated teaching. "Come back to thinking -Please"

Farful
7
Points
Farful 09/28/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
good luck

good luck

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 09/28/08 - 10:40 am
0
0
That, to a considerable

That, to a considerable degree, my salary as a public school teacher was determined on the basis of my prior performances in college and university classrooms as opposed to my then-current performances in the classrooms in which I was teaching struck me as highly problematic. Moreover, when consideration is paid to the fact that the time and effort I expended in meeting the requirements of these college and university classes detracted from the time and effort I had available to expend in instruction activities with my public school students, the use of the possession of advanced degrees as a criterion for teacher pay becomes even more problematic.

class1
299
Points
class1 09/28/08 - 11:04 am
0
0
I agree with Fran, Mr. Dolan

I agree with Fran, Mr. Dolan is living in a fantasy world. He needs to spend some time in the schools. You could never link test scores to performance pay. You would never get any teachers to teach in the inner city schools. In addition, teachers never would share ideas with fellow teachers if their pay was linked to test scores. What about the parents involvement? Parents make AYP!

Johnwaltlhroopfranchetti
0
Points
Johnwaltlhroopfranchetti 09/28/08 - 11:06 am
0
0
If they make the performance

If they make the performance factors the same as bedden's incentive goals, no problem. Everybody get's a free pass!!~

thingsneedtochange
0
Points
thingsneedtochange 09/28/08 - 11:17 am
0
0
Ok if teachers pay is going

Ok if teachers pay is going to be based on the performance of the students in their classrooms well then the people down at the board need to have their pay based on the schools outcomes. This would make it fair because everyone's pay would be based on someone else's work.

mystery30815
18
Points
mystery30815 09/28/08 - 11:34 am
0
0
Then the schools have to quit

Then the schools have to quit giving teachers extra duties such as having "advisement" groups. That's what school counselors are for. It's not a teachers job to review student transcripts and register them for classes. What about special ed. teachers, some of those students, because of medical conditions can't learn or are unable to retain what they learn. Those teachers are just out of luck right? Before a school district decides to pay teachers based on performance they better ensure they have everything a teacher needs to teach. I know teachers now who have no teachers editions, classrooms that they have to set garbage cans up in to catch the rain, etc.

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 09/28/08 - 12:04 pm
0
0
Too many variable to consider

Too many variable to consider to implement "merit pay" or what every term you want to use, it requires too much time to figure it out, so why not use the procedures that are already in place more effectively and HIRE COMPETENT PEOPLE at all levels. The focus must be on improving student performance and providing teachers with the support and resouces that they need to accomplish this goal. What exist now is too many resource people (with too little knowledge and understanding of the education process) trying to justify their jobs.

Little Lamb
45394
Points
Little Lamb 09/28/08 - 01:57 pm
0
0
This performance pay will not

This performance pay will not be fair to the taxpayers unless an entire spectrum of performance is factored into the mix. That is, extra pay for good performance should come from payment penalties for poor performance. That is, the extra money for good teachers comes from dunning poor teachers.

jack
10
Points
jack 09/28/08 - 02:30 pm
0
0
Noton, I totally agree that

Noton, I totally agree that teachers cnnot force an education onstudents who just are not in class to learn/are unmotivated by their parents. I do believe schools can be rewarded for higher perfromance, however, but only when the dead wood students are expelled or sent to alternative school.

WHEUBANKS
1
Points
WHEUBANKS 09/28/08 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Suppose that that Mr. Dolan’s

Suppose that that Mr. Dolan’s livelihood was derived from his duties as a member of the Richmond County School Board. Would he be in favor of his pay being based on his “performance”? Would it increase or decrease if twice within a year he had to admit that they had passed a budget that had consequences he was not aware of? Would he be willing to take the heat for developments over which he had no control, such as the rise in fuel prices?

keysplease
4
Points
keysplease 09/28/08 - 05:25 pm
0
0
When I worked in a warehouse,

When I worked in a warehouse, I was given all the materials I needed to do my job. When I worked in state government, I was given everything I needed to do my job. When I worked at a university, again, I was given everything I needed to do my job. I didn't have to go into my pocket to buy anything, nor did I have to go without when I needed something. Why is it that in education, one of the most important jobs there is, that I was given a key, and told, do your job. However, in every school in which I have taught, I have had to spend several hundred dollars out of my pocket for supplies each year, I have gone without textbooks, even basic needs. So how can you want performance for pay when we can't get the basic supplies and equipment needed to do our jobs? All of us make it work everyday, but it would be nice to go into a clean, well maintained building, with all the supplies that I need (according to the state curriculum) to enable me to do my job, which is to teach. It certainly worked with every other job I have had. Go figure!

steelermoose1
0
Points
steelermoose1 09/28/08 - 05:34 pm
0
0
Thats all well and good, but

Thats all well and good, but why dont we pay our law enforcement officers more money. Its ridiculous that they make less than teachers, and put their life on the line everyday. I dont in any way think what teachers do is not important, but i just have a real issue with teachers making more than police officers.

salandrews
0
Points
salandrews 09/28/08 - 07:08 pm
0
0
The State of Georgia must be

The State of Georgia must be held accountable for the success and failure of the school system. Allow me to state my premise." Why should a teacher worry about a pay increase when he/ she can return to college and get a Masters, Specialist, or Doctorate and recieve a pay incentive." What has happenedis, since so much emphasis has been placed on advanced degrees, Some teachers are returning to get an advanced degree for money and money only. Its good to return to school and advance yourself; however, make sure that you share that knowledge with your students. A teacher should be paid based on how good he /she performs in the line of duty, and should not be based on the number of degrees one possesses. We must pay teachers based on their performance, not based on the level of degrees they maintain. Anyone can attain a degree but can't just anyone teach a child.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/28/08 - 07:17 pm
0
0
Son_of_God: You spout such

Son_of_God: You spout such drivel when you elevate the RCBOE School Board to the level of God. You say "I am glad that God has at least placed this idea in the mind of Dr. Bedden." The article says "The school board has directed Superintendent Dana Bedden to begin looking into pay for performance for principals and teachers"

bebbe
1
Points
bebbe 09/28/08 - 08:45 pm
0
0
Does anyone notice that we

Does anyone notice that we always blame the educators when student scores go down.???? Do we lay the blame on our physicians when the rates of cancer or HIV increase????
Teachers are only in charge of what goes on in their classroom. They are not, and should not be, held responsible for the drug or alcohol abuse of the child's parent or the fetus; the lack of proper neo-natal care, the poor infant medical care, the lack of stimulation during the child's early developing years, , the unhealthiness of roach infested homes, the lack of pediatric care, the poor nutrition of the children, the lack of sleep, the dirty clothes, the head lice and parasites,ETC. Teachers work with what the parent sends to school. Too many of south Augusta's kids are victims of parental abuse and neglect, defective DNA, low IQ parents who can barely read themselves, immature parents who do not know how to be parents, crack addicts, meth users, and low lifes. And you want the teachers to be punished if they cannot teach these "rocks to read" ???? Come on. Bedden got his incentive pay because the teachers did their job and scores were raised. He needs to visit the schools ( no advance notice).

Keep it real...
0
Points
Keep it real... 09/28/08 - 09:17 pm
0
0
Well I guess the teachers who

Well I guess the teachers who have chosen to work in the inner city will look for employment in a school where there is more parental involvement. I agree with the reward system only if the variables are consistent. Its not.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 09/28/08 - 09:41 pm
0
0
If the pay-for-performance

If the pay-for-performance idea becomes a reality, there will be a mass exodus from the inner-city schools and the principals there will be hard-pressed to fill job vacancies each year. There will be no teachers willing to accept positions for grade levels that have annual standardized tests (like 3rd and 5th grades) and virtually no one will be interested in becoming a Special Education teacher. Teachers who have worked hard to earn an advanced degree will find better-paying jobs in the private sector, and the teachers who are left will see their classrooms bulge with increased numbers of students since there won't be enough teachers to handle them all. College enrollment for education careers will plummet. Test scores will continue to sink and the situation in Ga's public schools will worsen. I'm not being pessimistic here; I'm being realistic because it's already happening now. Sorry, but you can't run a school like a business. Teachers and students are not numbers on a balance sheet. There has to be a better option.

Son of God
0
Points
Son of God 09/28/08 - 10:12 pm
0
0
No longer amazed, thank you

No longer amazed, thank you for your comments. The school board has directed Dr. Bedden to look into pay incentives for high performance but who do you think put the idea into the school board's mind? It's in God we live. It's in God we move. It's in God we have our being. We would not be able to e-mail these comments to each other if it had not been for God's grace and mercy. I speak LIFE AND PROSPERITY to the Richmond County Board of Education faculty, staff, parents and to all of God's creation. NEVER will I speak death on students. They WILL have high test scores. They WIIL be successful. The situation in Georgia's schools WILL NOT worsen,Death and LIFE are in the power of the tongue. God is everywhere but if we don't acknowledge him before men then he won't acknowledge us before the FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. I truly am no longer amazed at how much negative power that we have as God's children. We must learn how to bind the powers of the enemy instead of feeding into them. I speak LIFE to everyone and LOVE YOU as Jesus does. If you want change, then let it begin with you. Change the way you speak about God's people, especially his children and his anointed ones. Read and

Son of God
0
Points
Son of God 09/28/08 - 10:15 pm
0
0
meditate on Deuteronomy

meditate on Deuteronomy 32:39. Read it over and over again and see exactly who and where God is. I would quote it but we need to read it for ourselves. I can tell by some of these comments that some of us are NOT meditating in God's word.

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