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Teachers helping Gainesville schools set up new pay model
Multi-tiered platform to be rolled out next January
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Teachers in Gainesville are currently helping the city school district figure out the best way to approach a new compensation model.

Priscilla Collins, director of school improvement, presented one possible draft of the model may to the Gainesville City Schools Board of Education at its meeting Monday evening.

The Georgia Career Ladder aims to establish pathways for career growth for educators and to improve teacher practices. The career ladder is a part of the state’s Race to the Top grant, and it looks at how districts reward and compensate teachers who take on additional roles.

A state task force is creating a model that will be implemented in January 2014.

Currently the district uses a single-tier system to determine pay based on training and experience. The draft would create five tiers that distinguish between the different roles within the schools.

Two of those tiers, Teacher Leader 1 and Teacher Leader 2, would be filled by teachers who take on more roles within their school, the difference being the amount of time the teachers spend in the classroom. Those teachers could be selected based on their effectiveness as measured by the Teacher Keys Evaluation System.

Local districts have the ability to decide for themselves how teacher leaders should be selected and at what level they should be compensated.

Collins said she has also presented other drafts and ideas that are being used in other states such as Florida, Colorado and Idaho.

“We’re starting the conversation with our district about what would it look like in our district,” Collins said.

Two or more teachers from each school in the Gainesville district are forming a focus group to see what would best suit teachers in the district.

“I think everything we do should aim for excellence in the classroom and the reward should be there,” board member Delores Diaz said. “I hate to see money, which is so precious, be directed to things that don’t have an impact in the classrooms.”

The focus group will present its recommendations at a meeting on March 6.

The board also briefly discussed a meeting with the Georgia Department of Education to apply for a renewal of its charter status. The meeting will be in Atlanta today. The system must reapply for the status every five years. The GDOE will respond to the system’s request by April 5.

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