Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should support performance pay but in a manner that recognizes its appropriate uses and limitations.
Missouri supports performance pay. The state allows local districts to establish the Missouri Career Development and Teacher Excellence Plan, in which teachers are able to advance up the career ladder based on criteria that includes "reference to classroom performance evaluations." The amount of additional pay depends on which level of the career ladder teachers reach, as determined by performance and certain other activities.
In addition, any school that is deemed "academically deficient" (graduation rate below 65 percent) is required to develop an incentive program for teachers, rewarding those who contribute to preventing schools from remaining "deficient."
In 2009, Missouri established the Teacher Choice Compensation Package for the St. Louis School District to permit performance-based salary stipends to reward teachers for objectively demonstrating superior performance. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, teachers who opt out of their permanent contract may be eligible to participate based on the following: student scores on a value-added test instrument, evaluations by principals or other administrators, evaluations by parents and evaluations by students. Stipends are offered in increments of $5,000, up to $15,000, but must not exceed 50 percent of a teacher's base salary. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must develop criteria for determining eligibility for stipend increments. Test scores are given more weight than evaluations. The level of scores required must take into account classroom demographics.
Missouri Revised Statutes 160.540; 168.500; 168.745
Expand performance pay beyond St. Louis.
The state is commended for connecting performance pay to student achievement in its Teacher Choice Compensation Package for the St. Louis City School District and should consider implementing a similar performance program in all districts.
Missouri pointed out that historically the Career Ladder received both state and local funding. Due to the economic decline faced by the state in the past two years, the state portion of the program has been suspended.