Strategic Steps to a Merit System

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STRATEGIC STEPS TO A
MERIT SYSTEM
Reynoldsburg City School District
About Us
A first-ring suburb of Columbus, Reynoldsburg’s
demographics are reflective of the state and the
nation.
Reynoldsburg has …
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34,000 residents
6,000 students
700 staff
Median income: $34,000
Average teacher salary: $62,000
Fiscal Year 2011 Revenues: $55 million
Other
Revenues
10%
Real Estate
Taxes
34%
State Foundation
48%
Income
Tax
8%
Effective Operating Millage
0
Bexley
New Albany-Plain Local
Upper Arlington
Worthington
Westerville
Dublin
Hilliard
Grandview Heights
Canal Winchester
Columbus
South-Western
Gahanna Jefferson
Whitehall
Reynoldsburg
Groveport Madison
Hamilton Local
10
20
30
40
50
Tax Effort
0
Columbus
Whitehall
Groveport Madison
Canal Winchester
Reynoldsburg
Grandview Heights
Hilliard
Westerville
Gahanna-Jefferson
South-Western
Worthington
Bexley
Upper Arlington
Hamilton
Dublin
New Albany-Plain
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
Drivers
A theory of improvement
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Does merit pay affect behavior?
Public perception
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In this economic climate, must any raise be tied to
performance and results?
Critical Points Timeline
2002 Project SOAR value-added pilot (grades 3-8)
2004 Student Improvement Incentive Award negotiated
2006 Began T-CAP (classroom level value-added analysis)
2007 Additional SIIA language negotiated
First SIIAs awarded ($8,000)
2009 Began high school value-added pilot
Principal evaluation pilot (Ohio Department of Education)
2010 In-house principal/administrator evaluation tool implemented
Teacher evaluation pilot (Ohio Department of Education)
2011 Superintendent and assistant superintendent merit pay negotiated
Data Driven
Successful organizations know how their
employees impact their results.
Value-Added with Battelle for Kids
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Project SOAR began to demonstrate how student
progress information can be used as a diagnostic
tool for educational improvement in grades 3-8.
T-CAP (Teachers Connecting Achievement and
Progress) provides individual teachers with reliable
information about the progress made by the
students they teach.
Ohio Value-Added High Schools initiative uses
ACT-aligned, end-of-course exams to provide
classroom-level progress data in grades 9-12.
Effective Evaluations
Successful organizations improve outcomes by
providing timely, accurate and constructive
guidance to employees.
Evaluating results
Establishing a fair evaluation process remains a
critical challenge in developing a merit system
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Ohio’s principal evaluation pilot (2008-2010)
Ohio’s teacher evaluation pilot (ongoing)
Race to the Top work supports ongoing discussions,
tool development and trials.
Fair Contracts
Successful organizations are able to
attract/retain talented employees within
sustainable budgets.
Student Improvement Incentive Award
If student performance in a classroom is significantly
higher than expectations, the Superintendent, with
Board approval, shall have the unilateral authority to
grant an award of up to Two Thousand Dollars
($2,000.00) per applicant. Prior to receiving a Student
Improvement Incentive Award, the following procedure
shall apply:
1.
2.
Teachers must apply in writing, must document increased
student performance, and must include their Principal’s
written endorsement with the application; or
Teachers can be nominated by any District employee by
completing a form provided by the Board.
Award Process
Applications were evaluated by a committee of
outside experts, including representatives of:
 Columbus
State Community College
 Ohio State University
 School Support Council of Ohio
 Local business/government
The committee reviewed applications and
recommended award amounts. Process was
developed over two years.
Building buy-in
2005-06
Four teachers received $2,000 each
2006-07
18 teachers received a total of $29,500
7 applications denied
2007-08
15 teachers received a total of $21,000
8 applications denied
2008-present
None awarded due to budget cuts
Administration leading
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Superintendent became first in the district with real
merit pay in contract
Assistant superintendent immediately followed
District administrators/principals merit system
coming next year, tied to new evaluation tool
Superintendent’s contract
"It's kind of
unlikely he's
going to
achieve all
four. But we
want him to
reach high.
We want him
to shoot for
the stars.“
Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year and thereafter, the Board
shall pay a
performance incentive between 0% and 5% of the annual
base salary for each goal/objective met with a maximum
of four goals/objectives, which shall be cumulative. Each goal/objective will be
tiered with a prescribed measure(s) to determine the
percentage of performance incentive met. This amount is in
addition to the salary provided in paragraph 4 above. It is the intent of the parties
that the goals/objectives
will be defined collaboratively and
will be outcome based. The Board will be the sole judge
of whether the Superintendent met or exceeded the
goals/objectives. Goals/Objectives will be agreed upon by July 31 of the
Mary Burcham,
contract year immediately preceding the year for which the goals/objectives are
Board President
applicable. The determination of whether the goals/objectives have been met or
exceeded will be made by the Board on or before June 30 of each contract year
and the performance incentive will be paid in the second pay in July following that
determination.
Public reaction (from the blogosphere)
Negative
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Merit pay for management
is a joke. Do you ever think
you'll ever see a
superintendent who doesn't
'earn' his/her merit pay?(Are
you kidding...?) In fact, the
Reynoldsburg School Board
just gave Mr. Dackin a 24K
pay raise.
Positive
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"Merit pay" is a great idea
as long as there's a fair and
objective way of
determining merit and
quality of work. I'm also
impressed that he and others
have taken cuts and turned
down previous bonuses.
That's a sign that they're
aware of the economic
environment and not just out
for themselves.
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Public perception of salaries
Contrast to automatic step increases
Role of inflation, cost-of-living
Data as formative or summative
Fair evaluations – objective v. subjective
Building buy-in
Challenges
Merit pay is an integral piece of the broader systems of recruitment/
retention, rewards/sanctions, and public financial accountability.
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