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AISD teacher appraisals impetus for possible new salary structure

Austin Monitor
February 2, 2016

Austin Monitor

In a unanimous vote Monday, the Austin Independent School District board of trustees gave the green light to its new teacher appraisal system, which ties teacher appraisals to student performance on standardized tests. Kimiko Krekel, AISD’s executive director of educator quality, said the new appraisal system was also built with a second step in mind: revamping the way AISD pays its teachers.

"It's a lot of ifs," Krekel told the Austin Monitor, but the staff plans to present a draft of the new salary structure to the board in April. "Currently, teachers are paid mainly based off their years of experience, but we wanted to look at what expertise teachers have and reward the ways in which they are growing."

Teacher growth and incentives are main themes in AISD's new appraisal system, called Professional Pathways for Teachers (also known as PPfT), which is the brainchild of local stakeholders. Starting in fall 2016, PPfT will use a combination of students' standardized test scores, professional growth initiatives and classroom evaluations to determine a teacher's "grade."

AISD employee union Education Austin, the American Federation of Teachers and AISD staff have been planning the appraisal system since 2013, after federal and state officials began leaning toward tying teacher evaluations to standardized test scores.

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