Officials Testify About Performance Pay In Higher Education & Career Technology

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 18, 2007) — Performance pay plans are already in place and working in Oklahoma colleges and CareerTech schools, according to testimony from officials at a Tuesday hearing at the state Capitol.

Tuesday’s hearing was the third in a series of House Education Committee meetings to study performance pay for Oklahoma’s teachers. The hearings come just as performance pay gains momentum nationwide. A story on the front page of Tuesday’s Washington Post pointed out that performance pay has widespread support among parents across the country.

“Clearly, performance pay works. As we heard today, it’s already working in some colleges and universities, and at Career Tech schools,” said Oklahoma Speaker Lance Cargill (R-Harrah). “Performance pay promotes teacher growth and confidence, creates a climate of continuous improvement and increases student achievement. If it’s working for CareerTech and at colleges, then it can work in common education too.”

“The bottom line of our efforts is that good teachers deserve to be rewarded for their work,” said state Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore, who has chaired the series of hearings. “I think we’re beginning to see that a performance pay system is a realistic and necessary reform for our public schools in Oklahoma.”

Lawmakers heard from several CareerTech officials who shared information about performance pay systems already in place within that system.

Lindel Fields, deputy superintendent of the Tri-County Technological Center in Bartlesville, said a performance pay plan there recognizes star performers, boosts confidence among instructors and focuses on student success.

“Teachers are proud to be rewarded for their individual performance. They want to be recognized,” said Field. “When you reward them individually they stand a little bit taller, they are a little prouder. There’s no reason education can’t reward excellence the same as the business world does.”

James Machell, dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Education, testified that five of Oklahoma’s regional colleges and universities have some form of performance pay.

“It has worked,” said Machell. “Teachers know who the bad teachers are, and they don’t want them receiving the same pay. I think the keys are multiple measurements of performance, and stakeholder involvement.”

Cargill said he was also encouraged by testimony from education experts that performance pay plans work when they use a variety of factors to measure teacher success.

\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\>"This was more validation for the kind of performance\npay plan we seek, a model that rewards excellent teachers based on a mix of\nfactors," said Cargill. "We're seeing a consensus emerge that\nperformance pay works when it is done the right way."\u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\> \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\>Two experts from the North Carolina Center\nfor Teacher Quality testified about their research into the do's and don'ts of\nperformance pay.\u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\> \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\>"Not all teachers are going to excel in every\ndimension, but if teachers have access to a variety of avenues to show\nachievement then you're really going to promote excellence," said Anthony\nCody, a teacher from California,\nwho co-authored a report from the Center called "Teacher Solutions."\u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\> \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\>"We know the current pay system in Oklahoma has remained essentially the same\nfor most of our state's history, and it's doing nothing to boost teacher\nsuccess and student achievement," said Cargill. "It's time to move\nforward with a substantial performance pay reform."\u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\> \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”2\” face\u003d\”Arial\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial\”\>In the series of hearings that began in August, lawmakers\nhave heard from experts that studied performance pay plans demonstrating\nresults — as well as from teachers who support performance pay. Last week,\nProfessional Oklahoma Educators officials shared a survey of members that\nshowed strong support for performance pay. Nearly 70 percent of the teachers\nwho responded to the survey prefer some form of performance pay system, said\nGinger Tinney, POE Executive Director.”,1] ); //”This was more validation for the kind of performance pay plan we seek, a model that rewards excellent teachers based on a mix of factors,” said Cargill. “We’re seeing a consensus emerge that performance pay works when it is done the right way.”

Two experts from the North Carolina Center for Teacher Quality testified about their research into the do’s and don’ts of performance pay.

“Not all teachers are going to excel in every dimension, but if teachers have access to a variety of avenues to show achievement then you’re really going to promote excellence,” said Anthony Cody, a teacher from California, who co-authored a report from the Center called “Teacher Solutions.”

“We know the current pay system in Oklahoma has remained essentially the same for most of our state’s history, and it’s doing nothing to boost teacher success and student achievement,” said Cargill. “It’s time to move forward with a substantial performance pay reform.”

In the series of hearings that began in August, lawmakers have heard from experts that studied performance pay plans demonstrating results — as well as from teachers who support performance pay. Last week, Professional Oklahoma Educators officials shared a survey of members that showed strong support for performance pay. Nearly 70 percent of the teachers who responded to the survey prefer some form of performance pay system, said Ginger Tinney, POE Executive Director.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.

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