CPS teachers agree to link pay with student progress

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Teachers in the Cincinnati Public School system have agreed to an evaluation system that will link their pay to student progress.

The district is the first in the state to have such an agreement.

Under the new, more rigorous system, positive evaluations would be required to receive pay increments at most of the levels of a typical teacher's career. The new system is designed to enhance accountability, provide teachers with more feedback and growth opportunities and focus on strengthening skills that improve student learning.

CPS employs about 2,400 teachers.

At Oyler Elementary School, teachers like the idea of sitting down before the school year, but are concerned about the extra workload.

Second grade teacher Mary Senger has worked for CPS for 17 years. With plenty of evaluations under her belt she likes the idea of sitting down with her principal to discuss goals and responsibilities. But Senger is concerned it will create extra paperwork and reflects on how well her students perform.

When Senger was asked if this was merit or performance-based pay, she said, "It's hard not to think that. I think there definitely is a correlation."

But CPS says no, and the system is inclusive for everyone. Students are state tested in reading and math at grades three through eight and ten. Therefore, not every teacher has a test score to tie to a student's performance.

"We want to look at, where are they starting out and where are they finishing? It is not just one test score, no ones pay will be harmed because they haven't met these targets," said Senger.

Oyler principal Craig Hockenberry says after only reading a few pages, he thinks the new system will help schools be more accountable to students and parents.

"I want it to be helpful, I don't want it to be burdensome and I don't want to have to do a whole bunch of extra paperwork and everything and from what I gathered, it's not going to be like that," said Hockenberry.

This teacher evaluation system will be implemented next school year and is part of a grant, meaning it will not come out of the CPS general operating budget.

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