10/09/05 — Teachers get more at certain schools

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Teachers get more at certain schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 9, 2005 2:05 AM

The Board of Education has voted to continue a differential salary incentive in six city schools as a way to retain and recruit highly qualified teachers and improve student performance on tests.

The board made a few revisions to the proposal that had been first introduced in 2002-03.

Dr. Willette Wooten, director of federal programs for the school system, said the local salary differential pay plan is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Its purpose is to improve teacher and principal quality and hold local educational agencies and schools accountable for improvement in student academic achievement.

Schools affected by the proposal include Carver Heights, School Street and North Drive elementary schools, Dillard and Goldsboro middle schools and Goldsboro High School.

Through a federal Title II grant for $250,000, those in the high school could receive as much as $3,000 additional pay, with those at the elementary and middle school levels eligible for up to $2,250 of the incentive pay.

Educators who choose to work in the inner city schools and teach a core-tested area, such as math and science, are automatically eligible for $1,000 that would be paid out over the 10-month school year. Principals in the central attendance area schools will also receive a salary differential in the amount of $1,200, paid $100 per month.

It is a three-tiered program, Dr. Wooten explained. The initial $1,000 is considered tier one or the base pay per teacher. Educators are also eligible for tier two and/or three, based upon the performance of their school.

At the high school level, teachers having at least 50 percent of their students meeting standard on end-of-course tests for tier two receive an extra $1,000. If at least 60 percent accomplish that under tier three, an additional $1,000 is awarded.

Incentives for middle and elementary school teachers are $625 each at tiers two and three.

Since the pay plan was first approved three years ago, the bonus amount has increased and students are also achieving at higher levels in the central attendance area, Dr. Wooten said.

"It's meeting its objective as you have designed it," she told the board Monday night.

Board Chairman Lehman Smith said, "It's doing what we wanted it to do. I think the standards have been set about as good as they could do."

He said what has been especially helpful is that the goals have been reachable.

"We're making it worthwhile and it's within their distance" to accomplish this, he said.