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funkster funkster is offline
 
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funkster
 
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Anyone have merit pay?
Old 02-19-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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My DH keeps asking how the township will budget for teachers' pay if we move to a merit pay scale. He is in business and has owned his own business and really believes that the township committee or board of ed. will underhandedly tell the school administers how many teachers can get distinguished, how many can get proficient, and the rest will have to get basic whether they are outstanding teachers or not. He feels they will be more or less forced to do this or they will not be able to fund the teachers' salaries.
Does anyone know how the towns budget for teachers' pay when a merit system is put in place?


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Old 02-19-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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That is the 'word on the street' in our district. Of course, we can't get a straight answer...
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:55 PM
 
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I have thought the exact same thing as your husband. It seems an easy way to pay less and claim to have a legitimate excuse for it.
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Our state has mandated merit pay
Old 02-19-2013, 09:19 PM
 
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but we're still waiting to see how it will turn out. We expect that the state will continue to short the districts in funding. So, either the districts will only give merit pay to a very select few, or the amount of the merit pay will be very small and/or the base pay will be reduced or limited to cover the costs of the merit increases. I'm not holding my breath about getting more pay. I'm just hoping that my pay won't be further decreased (no raises in six years, increased taxes, and new monies taken out of check toward retirement).
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Daphne333 Daphne333 is offline
 
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we almost had it
Old 02-20-2013, 04:21 AM
 
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When it was possibly coming (thank God we have Democrats in our state legislature who killed it) my principal and I were talking about it. We would be rated from 1-5. He was already told at the time that he wasn't allowed to give out a 5. And you could only get a 4 IF the teacher was perfect AND volunteered their own time for after school activities. He was told that he was expected to give mostly 3s.


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Old 02-20-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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We will move to merit pay soon or so I am told. We have already been told that we should not expect to be marked the highest rating on our evaluation. The principals told us that the distinguished mark is one that none of us will see no matter how well we teach. If they adjust my pay too much I will be forced to quit because I am paying $800 a month in student loans.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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Ours will start next year. Here is what our district has proposed. And yes, we will make less money.

1. Base pay is frozen at whatever you are making this year.
2. There are 3 ways to earn a stipend
#1 We are rated on state observation instrument and test
scores 1-4. 1's get nothing and 4's will get $175. (2
and 3 will make somewhere in between)
#2 $175 for teaching a full year
#3 $175 for teaching 'in-demand' area

For a total of $525 possible

Previous step increases were approx. $650 a year. So, yes district will save money. So, if you are a new teacher making $45,000, you freeze at this amount. You can earn up to $525 each year and it accumulates on to base-pay. Maybe...or you just might freeze at 45 and have to earn your extra 500 every year. No one is really sure, yet...

Oh, and insurance is going up 8% ....so, I will certainly make less money next year.

I am just glad I have lots of experience and am way up the pay scale. So, my frozen base pay is much, much higher than the newer teachers.

AND our new observation system (Danielson) is horrible. And Value-added is seriously flawed. Gotta Love Louisiana

I hope this makes sense....
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I'm just
Old 02-20-2013, 08:47 PM
 
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Envious of the base pay. I am 2 classes away from my masters with quite a few years experience and I may never see $45,000!
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summer4fun summer4fun is offline
 
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Just curious...
Old 02-20-2013, 09:58 PM
 
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what do you think is flawed about the Danielson Model? We are piloting this year, and I am up for evaluation...I was one of the first 5 to be evaluated...Of the five of us, I got the best with two basics and the rest proficients...then...(because everyone is talking about it) almost everyone else, including a brand new teacher who people say is terrible (but cute) is getting all PR and even distinguished...

I don't know what to make of this...I also don't see how this model is so much less subjective...

We were told we would live in basic or PR, but most of our staff is living in PR and Distinguished.

Also I was told today that my MAP scores are the lowest (I think in my grade level) and whatever I am doing isn't working with this group (a very challenging extremely low, unbalanced group. I am beside myself for so many reasons...

Now I still have the unannounced visits left...
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funkster funkster is offline
 
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Thanks..
Old 02-21-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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to all of you who replied. It was informative and confirmed what I thought.
As sad as it is, It seems better that we can share this.

We are not on merit pay yet, but we are starting Danielson model. So far 2 teachers got distinguished. They planned their lessons for over 2 weeks, one came in all day with her husband on a Sunday, to prepare and set up for her observation on Monday.
I will NOT be doing that. I am too close to retirement to do that. I say, if they want a show, buy a ticket and go see one on Broadway, we are close enough! If they come to my room expect to see me working hard to teach the kids and that is all.


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summer4fun summer4fun is offline
 
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Funny.
Old 02-21-2013, 05:12 PM
 
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I really planned my lesson, had an awesome SB (people who saw it said it was), and had everything planned to a T. The kids did well, and did what they were supposed to. Instead of complimenting me...P said I spent too much time making the SB and that I shouldn't be such a perfectionist (everything was perfect, perfect, she said) but I was downgraded on questioning and engagement. Just b/c kids are sitting and listening doesn't mean they are engaged, her therory, but I am not convinced that is what was happening. (Had them turn and talk, work with partners, etc.)

Did those teachers get distinguished for overall...or just for one or two areas?

Our P has been breaking it down into areas. there are 7 areas...
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SweetTea SweetTea is offline
 
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Merit Pay....
Old 02-21-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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Next year will be our first year to begin the "merit" pay. Our school allowed us to be part of a pilot so there would be no surprises to those who chose to participate. I have been teaching for five years and make less than I did my first year. We took a pay cut after my first year and now a pay freeze for the last four years. Like others have mentioned insurance increases and less monies for supplies are taking a chunk of my salary. However, I do not want to complain because I know many people who would be grateful for a job.

According to our recent evaluation meetings..."IF" there is any money for merit pay, it would be based on what we would receive from the state...and it doesn't look very hopeful. We are also using the Danielson model where the rating is 1 to 4. There would be no raises if you scored a 1 (which indicates your teaching is harming a student) and a 2 (which is basic). We could also "infer" that very few teachers would be a 4 (highly effective) and even if we were that we still may not have any increases depending on funding. We would be given merit pay based on this complicated formula of percentages that include education, experience, performance evaluation of our school, our grade level, and our individual classes, and any "extras" that we volunteer for such as leadership inside and beyond our school and district.

Teaching is my second career (yes, I did start all over....and did not take a test to get my license)! I enjoy love what I do, but I never thought that I would be a first year teacher my whole life and the stress of all the testing is wearing on me! I do not begrudge the teachers who are making $65,000 and are at the top of the scale, but sometimes it seems less than fair because I am working hard and making less than half of that. I really do not know what the solution would be...because frankly, unlike the private sector, schools cannot try to "increase" sales or introduce a new product to offset funding losses. My friend and I who were hired 5 years ago agree that we feel like schools are turning into businesses without providing a way for us to increase "profits" both academically for the students and to reward quality teachers for their efforts.

I have enjoyed reading this post...and realize that we are all in one big boat together...and at times it feels like the Titantic.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:57 PM
 
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Thank goodness we are not seeing the merit pay plan here yet - it sounds like a nightmare. I just put in for my final column reclassification. When my boys were little, I didn't do all the extra classes I could have. So I am at Step 13 (13 years experience) and moving from Column 5 $68,000 to Column 6 next year $73,000. My step increases haven't changed singed since year 10 and the next step will kick in at year 15 which will go to $78,000 for column 6.
Hubby has wanted to move for his job in the last few years and even though the cost of living would be less elsewhere, I just wouldn't want to drop back if a job could even be found anywhere else.
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