Colorado is in the national spotlight as school districts implement a groundbreaking new state law to improve the effectiveness of all educators.
Starting in 2013-2014, Colorado teachers and principals will be evaluated and rated annually based on how much their students learn each year, and whether educators meet new job performance standards.
For three years, a team of Jeffco teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders worked together to study alternative pay models across the United States and around the world—and what might be good for Jeffco.
We also conducted employee surveys and focus groups to test initial ideas for strategic compensation in Jeffco.
The result? A research-based strategic compensation plan that is reflects clear Colorado priorities for improving education.
Jeffco’s plan is unique. It’s not just about pay, but rather a different kind of system that integrates student achievement, professional development, collaboration, leadership, evaluation and compensation.
Phase one—funded by Rose Community Foundation and supported by the Center for Teaching Quality—included reviewing research, studying costs and benefits, and meeting with experts who are leading these efforts.
We learned that alternative compensation systems making a difference for student learning:
- Encourage the spread of teaching expertise
- Honor teachers as individuals and teams
- Involve teachers, principals, district staff and community members in design and implementation
- Create teacher leader positions with significant additional compensation to analyze data, provide instructional support and evaluate staff
Phase two—funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Education—included calculating costs, determining funding requirements and designing the parameters for Jeffco’s pilot project.