Effective teachers are the biggest in-school factor related to student success. Across the country, a diverse set of districts are pioneering innovative approaches to teacher compensation that reward their best teachers and raise compensation overall.
This report reveals the key policy decisions undertaken by 10 districts that have made it possible to revamp their compensation systems and, at the same time, keep their systems solvent and achieve district goals. While the specific goals of each district vary, all 10 districts used compensation to attract, retain, and leverage high-performing teachers.
These districts include:
- Baltimore City, Maryland
- Denver, Colorado
- Douglas County, Colorado
- Harrison School District 2, Colorado
- Hillsborough County, Florida
- Lawrence, Massachusetts
- New Haven, Connecticut
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Putnam County, Tennessee
- Washington, D.C.
The report ends with the following eight recommendations:
- Differentiate compensation based on roles and responsibilities.
- Set starting salaries to meet market demand.
- Align teacher compensation redesign with fair, proven teacher evaluation systems.
- Shift pay structures away from years of experience and advanced degrees.
- Use compensation incentives to attract highly effective teachers to hard-to-staff schools, districts, and subjects.
- Emphasize extra pay for effectiveness and career pathways instead of small bonuses.
- Accelerate the timeline to maximum salary where possible.
- Allow teachers to opt-in to new compensation systems within a set time-frame.
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