Let's start with our reality, we are a small school district and it's a challenge to attract, hire, develop, and retain outstanding teachers.
Our district does not have the economies of scale of larger districts like Frisco (which has 60,000 students) that allow their district to have lower operational and administrative costs as a % of Revenue. This generates value and allows them to offer better salaries, select from a larger candidate pool, and ultimately have more hiring options. As you review the following proposal for the CISD please consider the overall DFW area economy.
Key strategies identified:
Retention begins while recruiting
Provide ongoing education
Create paths for advancement
Provide an inclusive environment
Create a culture of innovation
We must increase Teacher compensation but the "how" is more difficult given our current financial situation.
My proposal to achieve this goal:
Evolve our current Teacher Compensation model to a Performance-based compensation model. Corporate America already embraces performance-based compensation that is tied to both individual objectives and organizational results. For those of you in Corporate America, I am proposing a system similar to a 360 performance review followed by the round table process.
Top Performing teachers should be rewarded with region-wide top salaries and an Individual Development Plan that will prepare them to move up the career ladder. This will include a clear path to become Mentors, Administrators, and Senior Administrators.
There should be a realistic path to a $90,000 annual salary.
We should also recognize these Teachers with a Title like “Master Dragon Teacher” that will identify them as an example of our Culture and Values.
How do we identify and quantify a great teacher?
Criteria may include:
Teacher Observation based on the T-TESS Rubric. This Rubric includes 16 dimensions aimed at evaluating the entire environment and nature of teaching including:
c. Learning Environment
d. Professional Practices and Responsibilities
For more about T-TESS Rubric please visit teachfortexas.org.
Other criteria may include Student Performance, Peer evaluations, Participation in Continuing Education to obtain advanced degrees, and a Parent survey (K-8) or Student survey (9-12).
Master Dragon Teachers would receive an extra $12,000 in annual compensation.
We could also consider the development of a tiered recognition system, an Exemplary Teacher would earn an additional $6,000 compensation and a Recognized Teacher an additional $3,000. This system would both recognize and retain our Top Performing Teachers!
I invite you to share your feedback and comments to keep our community discussion moving forward. I try to respond to everyone's input!