Elk Valley Times

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County Schools win grant

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 6:11 am

The Lincoln County School System is one of three partnering districts that have received a Tennessee Department of Education grant designed to build on recent efforts to implement a statewide educator evaluation system which ties student outcomes to educator effectiveness ratings.

The districts – Lincoln County Schools, Haywood County Schools and Polk County Schools – will develop a performance educator evaluation system based on state-approved models, provide leadership opportunities for its most effective teachers, and offer opportunities for high-quality, targeted job-embedded professional development.

The initial state Department of Education funding for the first two years amounts to $5.5 million, and the overall five-year project cost is estimated at $18.4 million.

Depending on the partnering district needs, the compensation systems may include recruitment and retention incentives based on high-need schools and/or subject areas, rewards for advanced degrees in math and science, and/or job-embedded professional development linked to instructional improvement and educator evaluation results. The number of high-need schools expected to be served ultimately is numbered at 20, according to officials.

By year two of the grant, all partnering districts’ compensation systems will include an alternative salary schedule that provides base pay increases determined by appropriate effectiveness ratings in the evaluation system.

Teachers deemed effective will also be able to receive additional compensation for stepping into new roles and responsibilities to mentor new teachers or help less effective teachers improve – for example, instructional coach, professional learning community leader, mentor teacher.

The Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation and Development (TN CRED), a partner on the project, will work closely with districts and TDOE project management staff together and analyze the feedback on the implementation process and its impact on student achievement outcomes in order to make improvements to the project each year.