50°F
Sponsored by

Pay for Performance Pilot Program Benefits Washington County

"We've also seen phenomenal gains in student achievement and that basically is the goal of the grant is to see our students succeed," said Henson, Teacher Incentive Fund Grant Manager.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - Paying teachers and school administrators based on their performance continues to be a controversial idea, but in Washington County five schools have been doing that for four years now. It's something that many people say has had a positive impact on the district, not only on improving results, but also developing ideas that can be applied to the whole school system.

Stacey Henson says she's seen big changes over the last four years in Washington County schools.

"We're seen teacher effectiveness increase the number of highly effective teachers have increase, and we've also seen phenomenal gains in student achievement and that basically is the goal of the grant is to see our students succeed," said Henson, Teacher Incentive Fund Grant Manager.

That grant is worth $7.3 million and its from the federal government to help fund a pilot program that pays teachers and administrators more based on their performance. The government picked up the tab for the first two years and for the last three the district pays for a percentage as well.

"Each year we revisit the grant and the match and consider those things but because we've seen such a high percentage of teachers and their effectiveness, it's probably the main reason and our student success for why we're continuing with year four," said Henson. 

Administrators say they've been very happy with the programs success, and now the challenge becomes applying the same principles after the federal money goes away completely.

"One more year for me personally as a school, it would be so we can now begin our plan, begin our plan for, we know the grant's going to end how can we have this kind of sustainability of the hard work that we did for the last five years," said Dr. Terri Williamson, Principal at Northern Middle School.

For teachers, the program not only provides more incentive for high performance, but also a chance for collaboration.

"If you have all your teachers working together i think it makes the learning more comprehensive for the students," said Christina Milotte, Northern Middle School teacher participating in the pilot program.

And the effects of the pilot program can already be felt in other areas of the school system as well.

"Initially the teacher evaluation system that we're using was just piloted in the five teacher incentive fund schools, but because of the success, teacher feedback, administrator feedback, we have pushed that out county wide, " said Henson.

On average, teachers and administrators who participated in the pilot program earned between $7,000 and $9,000 in incentive pay.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

More Headlines