The latest performance pay news

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Massachusetts: First up is Springfield, Massachusetts, where the teachers union recently gave the go-ahead to an interesting compensation scheme. It's not revolutionary, but it nibbles at the fringes of the old system. Teachers with a master's degree and seven years of experience will apply for higher-ranking positions of "teacher leader" and "instructional leadership specialist." They will max out at a base salary of $71,900, substantially higher than the $58,600 maximum for other teachers. They will also be eligible for additional raises of up to 5 percent, rather than the standard 2.75 percent cost-of-living increase. Unfortunately only 30 percent of these bonuses will be based on learning outcomes of students.

Texas: Performance pay (or Perry pay if you prefer) is chugging right along in Longhorn country. So far this year, $7 million in bonuses have already gone out to teachers in 76 hard-to-serve schools across the state. The dark side of this story is that teachers in another 24 schools would be eligible if the state weren't still investigating allegations of cheating.

North Carolina: The growth of strong incentive pay continues apace in Tarheel territory. UNC-Greensboro, AT&T, and a non-profit called Action Greensboro have joined forces with Guilford County Schools to help the district recruit math and science teachers to work in its low-performing schools, for which they will receive one-time bonuses of $10,000.