Pay for Performance

Currently, teachers have little or no control over how much money they make each year in the State of Idaho. Teachers are paid based on where they fall on the Instructional Salary Grid, based on their level of education and years of experience. This makes it difficult for Idaho to reward excellence in the classroom or to attract and retain the best and the brightest in the classroom. Now, every teacher has the opportunity to make money above and beyond their base salary.

The goal of the pay-for-performance plan is not to force our current educators to work harder. We already know teachers and principals across Idaho are working hard for students each and every day. The goal is to reward them for the work they already do. Idaho?s pay for performance system would add to the current salary schedule, not replace it.

The pay-for-performance plan was agreed to by all stakeholders in 2009, including the Idaho School Boards Association, Idaho Association of School Administrators, Idaho Education Association, and representatives of the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence.

Under this pay-for-performance plan, all teachers (including physical education teachers, special education teachers, alternative high school teachers, etc) are eligible to receive performance bonuses in three different areas.

  • Teachers can receive bonuses for working in hard-to-fill positions, as determined at the local level.
  • They can receive bonuses for taking on leadership responsibilities, such as mentoring new teachers or developing curriculum. These are things many teachers already do, but do not get paid for.
  • Teachers and administrators will also receive bonuses for working in schools that meet student growth targets set at both the state and local levels. At the state level, we will distribute bonuses based on academic growth in a whole school. At the local level, districts will have the flexibility to set their own student growth measures. It is important that these academic growth bonuses be awarded to the whole school, rather than individual teachers, because every teacher contributes to a student?s success in the classroom, whether it is in math, physical education, or art. Additionally, it is important that teachers continue to collaborate and share ideas, rather than pitting teacher against teacher.

Why is the student achievement portion of this plan based on academic growth? Because we know education is a process, not a destination. We are never done learning. So we shouldn?t assume that a child who is at grade level is done learning, either. Therefore, we should measure educators in a school based on the growth that the students in that school make in the year they have those students. This is the only fair way to measure academic performance.

About Idaho's Pay-for-Performance Plan
Final Pay-for-Performance Data
Preliminary Pay-for-Performance Data

How the State Calculates Growth and Excellence:

Submitting Local Pay-for-Performance Planslist
Local Measures

The state goals are based on the ISAT. We measure entire schools in two ways on the ISAT: overall excellence and academic growth. Overall excellence is a measure of the number of students meeting proficiency. Academic growth is a measure of how much growth students showed from one year to the next on the ISAT.

In addition to these state measures, local school districts developed their own measures. These measures could vary from district to district. Here are the additional measures listed in Idaho Code. Districts can also apply to the State Department of Education to use a measure outside of these, if they choose:

  • (i) Student test scores;
  • (ii) Student graduation rate;
  • (iii) Student dropout rate;
  • (iv) Percent of graduates attending postsecondary education or entering military service;
  • (v) Making federally approved adequate yearly progress;
  • (vi) Number of students successfully completing dual credit or advanced placement classes;
  • (vii) Percent of students involved in extracurricular activities;
  • (viii) Class projects;
  • (ix) Portfolios;
  • (x) Successful completion of special student assignments;
  • (xi) Parental involvement;
  • (xii) Teacher-assigned grades;
  • (xiii) Student attendance rate; and
  • (xiv) Various other criteria determined by local districts, subject to approval by the state department of education.