For Immediate Release - July 21, 2011
Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Charles B. Pyle
Phone: (804) 371-2420
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that teachers in 25 schools across the Commonwealth will participate in performance-pay pilot programs during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. With participating schools located in 13 of the 132 school districts in the Commonwealth, or 10% of Virginia’s school divisions, the program will have a broad debut for a pilot effort.
The participating schools must implement the performance standards and model teacher-evaluation system approved by the Board of Education in April. The board-recommended system bases 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation on student academic growth. The Virginia Teacher Evaluation Work Group developed and proposed revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers and the Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers for use in this pilot program. The work group consisted of teachers, principals, superintendants, Department of Education staff, and representatives from the Virginia School Boards Association, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, Virginia Education Association, Virginia Parent Teacher Association, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals and Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
Speaking about the pilot program, Governor McDonnell remarked, “There is a growing consensus that public schools must move beyond a compensation model that equally rewards mediocrity and excellence and is rooted in a past when our young people did not face fierce global competition. Bipartisan support – at both the state and federal levels – is allowing Virginia to implement performance pay in some of the Commonwealth’s most hard-to-staff rural and urban schools. I look forward to this program getting underway. It will benefit our students, parents and teachers. I congratulate the participating superintendents and school boards for their courage in taking advantage of this opportunity to encourage and reward excellence. The performance-pay pilots will provide a foundation for compensation reform that will reward excellence and attract new talent to the Commonwealth’s classrooms.”
The 2011 General Assembly approved Governor McDonnell’s request for $3 million to reward teachers in hard-to-staff schools based on student growth and other performance measures during the 2011-2012 school year. The legislation authorizes performance-pay bonuses of up to $5,000 for teachers earning exemplary ratings. In addition, federal support for performance-pay is provided through $3 million from the School Improvement Grant that Virginia received in April 2010 to fund reforms in low-achieving schools.
The participating school divisions and schools, with descriptions of each pilot, are:
- Accomack County — State-funded performance award of $3,000 for teachers in grades 2-5 at Kegotank Elementary and Pungoteague Elementary earning an exemplary rating with an additional $2,000 if schoolwide goals are met
- Caroline County — State-funded performance award of $5,000 for teachers at Caroline High and Madison Elementary earning an exemplary rating
- Colonial Beach — Federally funded $3,000 performance award for teachers at Colonial Beach High earning an exemplary rating
- Dinwiddie County — State-funded $5,000 performance awards for English, mathematics, social science and special education teachers at Dinwiddie County Middle earning an exemplary rating
- Fluvanna County — Federally funded $3,000 performance award for teachers at Central Elementary, Columbia Elementary and Cunningham Elementary earning an exemplary rating
- Franklin — Federally funded $3,000 performance award for teachers at Franklin High earning an exemplary rating
- Greensville County — State-funded $5,000 performance awards for teachers in the four tested content areas at Edward W. Wyatt Middle earning exemplary ratings
- Hopewell — Federally funded $3,000 performance award for teachers at Hopewell High earning an exemplary rating
- Northampton County — Federally funded $3,000 performance award for teachers at Kiptopeake Elementary and Northampton High earning an exemplary rating
- Patrick County — State-funded $5,000 performance awards for full-time teachers at Blue Ridge Elementary and Hardin Reynolds Memorial (grades 4-7) earning an exemplary rating and awards of $3,000 for itinerate teachers earning an exemplary rating
- Petersburg — Federally funded $3,000 for teachers at A.P. Hill Elementary and Peabody Middle earning an exemplary rating
- Richmond — Federally funded $3,000 performance awards for teachers at Armstrong High, Boushall Middle and Thompson Middle earning an exemplary rating
- Roanoke — State-funded $5,000 performance awards for teachers at Patrick Henry High earning an exemplary rating; and federally funded $3,000 awards for exemplary-rated teachers at Fleming High, Lincoln Terrace Elementary and Westside Elementary
Roanoke Superintendent Rita D. Bishop sees her division as an ideal setting to measure the impact of performance pay on teacher retention in an urban school division. “We have had some success with signing bonuses but still lose too many teachers to surrounding divisions,” Bishop said. “By participating in the performance-pay pilot, we are able to provide additional incentives for talented teachers to remain in four of our schools where they can make a real difference in the lives of students.”
Greensville County Superintendent Philip L. Worrell said teachers at Edward W. Wyatt Middle approached their principal about participating in the pilot and he supported their request. “These teachers have set ambitious goals for student growth during the coming school year and they see the performance-pay pilot as an opportunity to earn tangible recognition for their impact on learning and achievement,” Worrell said.
The Virginia Department of Education and the College of William & Mary School of Education will conduct two training sessions this summer for participating schools on implementing the Board of Education’s new model for evaluating teachers.
“The key to a successful performance-pay plan is an evaluation system that is capable of identifying truly exemplary teachers,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. “The model these schools will implement is informed by the latest research on using multiple criteria to objectively measure the impact of individual teachers on student learning and achievement.”
Bonuses for exemplary teachers in the state-funded pilots will be paid in the fall of 2012 based on evaluations conducted during 2011-2012. Performance awards for qualifying teachers in schools with federally funded pilots will be made in the fall of 2013 based on evaluations during 2012-2013.