Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should give local districts authority over pay scales.
Missouri gives local districts the authority for pay scales, eliminating barriers such as state salary schedules and other regulations that control how districts pay teachers. The state mandates a minimum salary but allows districts to determine the remainder of the schedule.
Missouri Revised Statutes 163.172
Discourage districts from tying compensation to advanced degrees.
While still leaving districts the flexibility to establish their own pay scale, Missouri should articulate policies that definitively discourage districts from tying compensation to advanced degrees, in light of the extensive research showing that such degrees do not have an impact on teacher effectiveness.
Discourage salary schedules that imply that teachers with the most experience are the most effective.
Similarly, Missouri should articulate policies that discourage districts from determining the highest steps on the pay scale solely by seniority.
Missouri noted that in June 2011, Missouri's State Board of Education approved new Standards and Indicators for teachers and leaders. The Missouri Model Educator Standards employ a developmental sequence that defines a professional continuum to illustrate how an educator's knowledge and skill mature and strengthen throughout his or her career. In both cases, the standards and indicators describe where developmentally an educator is in knowledge and skills. The new standards documents move away from the mentality of "years of experience" and move into the arena of describing what an educator knows and is able to do and what developmentally is necessary to move to the next level.
Missouri is working with a broad-based team of stakeholders to design a recommended assessment system for educators based on the new Standards and Indicators. Stakeholder districts will be piloting state-reviewed and suggested assessment tools to inform the state on their validity, reliability and relevance in assessing the standards and indicators that describe where a teacher/leader is developmentally on the continuum. This new assessment system for teachers and leaders lends itself to rewarding teachers and leaders based on performance.