District Trendline

Tr3 Trends: Trending in 2012

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December 2012

Welcome to Tr3 Trends , NCTQ's monthly newsletter designed just for school district officials.  Each month we use data from NCTQ's Tr3 database to highlight the latest trends in school district policies and collective bargaining agreements nationwide.  Tr3 contains teacher policies from 114 school districts, including the 50 largest districts, the largest district in each state, Broad Prize winners, Gates investment districts and members of the Council of the Great City Schools.

Tr3 Trends has covered many issues this year: teacher planning time, turnaround schools, using teacher performance in personnel decisions, leave, and more.  So which trends from our newsletter stood out the most in 2012?  

Here's our take on the top ten:

1. Student Outcomes in Evaluations: 35 of 81 districts in Tr3 currently require standardized test scores to factor into teacher evaluation ratings.  Another 13 will do so in the next few years--after new state laws are implemented. 

2. Performance Pay: 5 of 81 districts have replaced traditional salary schedules with new schedules that tie raises in large part to performance.  26 districts offer high-performing teachers bonuses or stipends.

3. Collaboration: 26% of Tr3 districts give teachers planning time to collaborate during the work day.  

4. School Year Length: 35% of Tr3 districts have a student school year of 180 days, making this the most common length. In 45% of the districts, the year is shorter than 180 days and in 20%, it's longer.

5. Sick Leave: 75% of Tr3 districts (86 out of 114) pay teachers for their unused sick leave at retirement.  

6. Layoffs: 26 of 81 districts in Tr3 use performance as the top criterion for layoffs; that's a big change from only 3 districts that did so in 2010.

7. Extended School Time: In 2010, at least 39% of Tr3 districts receiving SIG funds (the federal grant program) allowed schools to extend the school day and/or year.

8. Recall Rights: 33 of the 50 largest school districts in the U.S. offer teachers recall rights if they're laid off, meaning when a vacancy comes open and they're qualified they get first dibs on the job.  

9. Transformation Schools: Among Tr3 districts using SIG funds, transformation is the most common school improvement model.  Transformation schools replace the principal and revamp curricula, add professional development, and extend learning time, among other things.

10. Teacher Time: In 48% of Tr3 districts, teachers work 10 or more days on-site each school year without students.

Happy holidays to all of our Tr3 Trends readers.  We'll keep our eyes on the trends and share what we see in the new year!

Go to Tr3's custom report page to access all the data we use in Tr3 Trends and to compare teacher policies in 114 school districts nationwide. Send feedback to gmoored@nctq.org.