Seven Pinellas schools could get pilot merit pay plan
After promising to improve its merit pay plan for teachers, the Pinellas County School District is poised to roll out a pilot plan at seven schools. The plan could solve one of the biggest complaints about merit pay - that many teachers were evaluated based on students they never taught.
Under the proposal, teachers would be evaluated based on student growth and instructional practice, both worth 50 percent. Student growth will be based on the FCAT for teachers with FCAT-tested subjects and on unit assessment scores for teachers who don't have applicable state tests. Instructional practice will include three components - professional evaluations, "deliberate practice," and "planning, reflecting and professionalism."
Deliberate practice will be based on observation of an early and then a later unit. Planning, reflecting and professionalism will be based on elements of the Marzano evaluation.
For teachers who have both FCAT and non-FCAT subjects, there will be a weight assigned based on the number of classes. In the first year, teachers also can choose between the state VAM score and their calculated student growth score, if one is better than the other.
The plan has been approved by the state Department of Education, but two-thirds of the staff members at the schools need to sign off for it to go into effect. Schools included are: Azalea Middle, Boca Ciega High, Westgate Elementary, Gulfport Elementary, 74th Street Elementary, Bear Creek Elementary, and Azalea Elementary.