Bill Would Provide Incentive Pay for Kentucky Teachers

A bill filed in the Kentucky Senate would provide incentive pay for Advanced Placement (AP) teachers in Kentucky. Senate Bill 13 would expand on a current privately funded initiative, Advance Kentucky , which provides pay incentives to AP math and science teachers in 44 participating schools across Kentucky for improving students’ scores on math and science AP examinations. Senate Bill 13 would expand the number of schools where teachers would be eligible for these incentives. The bill was approved today by the Senate Education Committee and will move forward for full Senate consideration. If passed, it would come at an initial price tag of $1.2 million to the commonwealth and the cost would increase as additional schools came onboard.

Although this measure would impact a relatively small number of teachers in Kentucky, if it is passed it could represent a growing willingness to consider models of teacher compensation outside of the traditional, regimented teacher salary schedule. Policymakers and education officials should begin to consider such ideas now; for I believe the day is near when they will be forced to dramatically revamp if not completely abandon current traditional notions of how teachers should be rewarded and paid.

Leadership Changes Ahead for Three “Struggling” Louisville High Schools

Following state leadership audits conducted in early December at three “struggling” high schools in Louisville, KY, school-based decision making councils and/or principals will be replaced. Findings of the audits showed evidence of  insufficient leadership capabilities of the principal and/or councils at the schools, less than rigorous classroom instruction, failure to set high expectations for the learning of all students, and a failure to appropriately engage parents and families.

Identifying problems is an essential first step toward improving student learning in schools, but it is only the beginning of the change process. Now, Jefferson County Public School officials must decide which state-approved intervention models will be best for reforming these schools. Those decisions are scheduled to be made in late January. Let us hope that school board officials adopt models that are most appropriate for meeting individual schools’ needs and not just the ones that are most expedient.