Pay for performance key in Brillion School District

September 7, 2017

By David Nordby The Brillion News

BRILLION – When Act 10 happened, the old model of teacher pay that was based on credits and years of service became replaceable by school districts. Changes are still being felt, but in Brillion, the teachers have been on a pay for performance model since the 2014-15 school year.

“We’ve tried to shift that model in the last five years to really make that accountability the basis for pay,” Brillion School District Superintendent Dominick Madison said.

Madison also says that education as a whole has changed drastically since he entered it in 1989, and it’s important for people to know what’s happening in Brillion.

“I think it’s important for the community and the public to know that because I think sometimes there still is a perception that there is a lacking of accountability,” Madison said.

Madison said that the teachers are now held more accountable than ever before. Madison sat down with teachers and employees to comprise a pay model that would correlate with other new state regulations of teacher evaluations, essentially combining the two together. “What we didn’t want to do … is have a model where teachers were paid based on student test scores,” Madison said. “Places where that’s happened, it hasn’t worked.”

There are many schools who do the same thing around the United States and one of the reasons that Madison believes that student test scores being factored into teacher pay doesn’t work is it can incentivize cheating, among other factors. The district also wanted to avoid pay cuts and avoid adding extra work for teachers that weren’t directly related to their job.

Brillion’s model – which was not invented in Brillion – starts out at $38,407 a year and changes every year to match inflation numbers. The different levels of pay has similarities to a college professor system and other area schools like Chilton and Kiel. Every three years, teachers either have a $2,000 or a $4,000 raise in pay, which is where the performance part comes in. Teachers who score higher on evaluations receive the larger raise in pay.

Experience is still a factor in where a teacher starts out in pay, but the performance must come with it once they are evaluated in Brillion to move up the pay ladder.

Please see the complete story, including information on teacher evaluations and teacher shortages, in the September 7, 2017 edition of The Brillion News. 

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