Teacher Performance Pay Back on the Docket?

For the second consecutive year, State Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, is coming forward with a bill to provide state dollars to schools that develop and implement performance-based compensation plans for teachers – a reform idea that has gained tremendous bipartisan support nationally.

Last year I provided legislative testimony highlighting the new body of research showing the effectiveness of merit-pay programs. On a party-line vote, Democrats in the committee killed it.

This year, the Governor’s P-20 Education Council has included a tepid endorsement of “alternative teacher compensation.” With this new political reality, there may be a better chance to see Colorado become a progressive leader in educator pay. But the devil will be in the details. Forces that worked to derail Spence’s 2007 bill may work to water down the 2008 version. We shall see.

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