August 13, 2014

With school approaching, Educators 4 Excellence-Minnesota proposes key changes to Q Comp

After Nearly 10 Years as a Pilot Program, Teachers Urge Broad Changes to Make Q Comp Available to All

August 13, 2014 (Minneapolis) — Educators 4 Excellence-MN, a teacher-led organization that seeks to elevate the voices of teachers in policy discussions, called for four key changes to Minnesota’s decade-long implementation of Quality Compensation (Q Comp). A state program designed to allow districts to provide career pathways, professional development, evaluations, and pay increases to teachers, Q Comp has been largely underutilized given its potential impacts. The full recommendations can be viewed at http://www.educators4excellence.org/mnqcomp.

“Now that our state has a new teacher evaluation framework going into effect this year, it’s time for us to revisit Q Comp as a holistic system to support and reward excellence in teaching,” said Madaline Edison, Executive Director of E4E-MN. “That’s why a group of 14 teachers spent months analyzing Q Comp and proposing these changes. With a new school year about to begin, I hope policymakers will take the time to recognize all educators for their hard work by enacting these changes.”

This teacher-developed report on Q Comp has four main recommendations on how to improve the program’s components. These are:

  • Availability. Studies show that Q Comp is improving student performance. Lift the arbitrary $75 Million cap, so that any school or district that wants to utilize Q Comp can have it.
  • A hard-to-staff school bonus. Including this bonus as part of the Q Comp system will help our most in-need schools to recruit and retain the best teachers. It fits perfectly into the original goals of the Q Comp program.
  • Better transparency and use of existing teacher evaluations. Today, a tremendous amount of evaluative data is collected – and then never used in key Q Comp decisions. In career ladders, professional development, and the entire Q Comp structure, the state’s teacher evaluations must form the cornerstone or first step of the decision-making process.
  • Greater teacher involvement. Q Comp can’t just be something that happens to teachers – it must be a system which they help implement. If the purpose is to give teachers a greater stake in the success of their school, they must be involved from day one.

“Q Comp should be made available to any schools that want it, and should be enacted with input from all.” said Kaitlin Lindsey, a teacher at Anne Sullivan Elementary, who was a member of the Teacher Policy Team behind the report. “I have seen the effect in my own school, and know that any school that wishes to support and reward teacher quality should be able to do so. A robust, working Q Comp program helps both teachers and students.”

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