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Oregon performance pay plans

An increasing number of Oregon school districts are adopting performance-pay options in their collective bargaining agreements. Examples included in this article are:

  • Stipends for National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification - Sweet Home, Gresham-Barlow and Eagle Point.
  • Rewards for professional development and additional endorsements - Central Linn.
  • Performance pay for administrators - Central Linn and Portland Public Schools.

Programs that offer rewards for professional development or earning national certification are performance incentive programs. The Central Linn and Portland Public Schools compensation programs for administrators are performance pay programs.

Stipends for National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification 

The NBPTS is a non-profit, non-partisan group governed by a 63-member board of directors. The board includes: teachers, administrators, school board leaders, governors, state legislators, higher education representatives, teacher union leaders, business officials, and community leaders.

NBPTS’ goal is to establish high standards for accomplished teachers. Until recently, the teaching profession has not defined the knowledge, skills, and accomplishments that constitute excellent teaching. The NBPTS board has developed a reliable method of identifying teachers who meet high standards in more than 30 disciplines. Currently, there are 17 National Board certified teachers in Oregon. The NBPTS Certificate lasts for 10 years.

Eagle Point is offering a $5,000 permanent increase to the base salary to teachers who receive NBPTS certification. Gresham-Barlow added National Certification as the last column on the salary schedule. Sweet Home School District included in its 1999-2002 licensed employee contract a $10,000 one-time only stipend to any teacher who is certified by NBPTS.

Sweet Home also uses student achievement data to evaluate teachers on a four-point scale from advanced to unsatisfactory. The district rates teachers by looking at the progress each teacher’s students are making in meeting required standards. West Linn-Wilsonville and Oregon City offer a $1,000 per year bonus for each year the teacher is NBPTS certified.

Rewards For Professional Development

Central Linn School District uses a pay-for-know-ledge/skills program to compensate individual teachers for professional development or the development of specific competencies (see sample pay schedule). At Central Linn step, or merit, pay increases depend on individual teachers meeting professional development goals in the following areas:

  • District technology proficiency requirements.
  • Masters degree (or BA/BS + 45 hours) in teacher’s discipline.
  • Licensure in second area of teacher’s choice.
  • Licensure in a shortage area.
  • Head/lead teacher duties.

These professional growth areas correspond to the Basic, Standard, Advanced and Master teacher levels on the salary schedule (see sample pay schedule). Each salary level has three steps for salary advancement. Advancement from one salary level to another is dependent upon completing the requirements for the preceding level. If the professional development goals are not met for advancement to a next level, the teacher only receives a cost-of-living increase.

Performance Pay for Administrators/Superintendents

Central Linn School District also uses a performance incentive plan for administrators. Building administrators receive one-time payments for the accomplishment of specific goals, including goals related to student achievement.

Portland Public Schools has integrated a performance pay plan in its administrative evaluation system. The district’s goal is to create a seamless evaluation/ compensation system that gauges an administrator’s strengths and needs. The process is intended to provide plans for growth and development and reward accomplishments.

The Portland administrator’s evaluation plan identifies six standards for evaluation:

Standard #1: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of teaching and learning that is shared with and supported by the school community.

Standard #2: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by developing and implementing a school culture and an instructional program which promotes student and staff learning, and CIM/CAM/PASS and Benchmark achievement.

Standard #3: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by managing the daily operations of the school and its resources to assure a safe, efficient and effective learning environment.

Standard #4: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

Standard #5: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by acting in an ethical manner and demonstrating integrity, fairness and professional judgment.

Standard #6: A School Administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all staff and students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economical, legal, and cultural context.

An administrator’s performance is evaluated on a four-point scale - distinguished, proficient, basic and unsatisfactory - for a total of 24 proficiencies listed under the six standards.

The supervision/evaluation process includes a sequence of activities and timelines that incorporate self-analysis, goal setting, documentation, ongoing visits and communication with supervisors, and a comprehensive performance evaluation. The school administrator’s salary is based on the results of the evaluation.

The system also provides for specific performance expectations to recognize an administrator’s experience, background and effectiveness in the performance of job duties. The six categories used to differentiate administrator performance are based on:

  • Probationary or contract status;
  • Any ratings of Unsatisfactory;
  • Ratings of Basic or Proficient; and
  • Ratings of Distinguished.

OSBA developed a superintendent incentive performance pay plan that can easily be adapted for building administrators.