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$5M awarded to Arizona educators for performance-based achievements

teacher instructing students in a classroom
December 18, 2014

Five million dollars is being awarded to 2,210 teachers and administrators from 59 high-needs Arizona schools for their performance-based achievements as part of the Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project (AZRfR) during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Through the first four years of the five-year, $43.8 million U.S. Department of Education Teacher Incentive Fund grant administered by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, $15.25 million has been distributed to participating teachers, assistant principals and principals across the state.

“While we are greatly pleased to provide Arizona’s teachers and educators with additional payouts for their hard work and dedication in the classroom and schools, it’s equally rewarding to see that teachers continue to become more effective the longer they participate in the AZRfR Project,” said Virginia McElyea, executive director of the project. “Additionally, as schools are implementing this program in the final year of the ASU Teacher Incentive Fund grant, we are working with their districts to sustain these performance plans to reward effective teachers.”

Utilizing TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, the Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project provides the participating schools with continuous assistance and support from master and mentor teachers within their schools, professional development opportunities and competitive payouts based on effectiveness ratings generated through classroom observations and growth in student achievement.

The $5 million was awarded to 2,109 teachers and 101 administrators involved in the project during the 2013-2014 academic year. In total, the teachers received $4,700,000; the remaining $300,000 was awarded to administrators (principals and assistant principals). The majority of teachers earned between $1,360-$2,850, based on a combination of multiple observations and student and/or school-wide testing results.

The 59 schools are from 10 participating districts: Avondale Elementary, Chinle Unified, Coolidge Unified, Deer Valley Unified, Gadsden Elementary, Glendale Elementary, Littleton Elementary, Mesa Public Schools, Osborn Elementary and San Carlos Unified.

In total, $15.25 million has been distributed through the project. In the 2010-2011 school year, the grant awarded $1.1 million to 500 teachers and administrators from 17 schools. The program expanded to 48 schools for 2011-2012, with 1,750 educators receiving $4 million and $5.1 million distributed for the 2012-2013 school year. Fifty-nine schools from 10 districts received $5 million for the 2013-2014 academic year, with the same schools participating in the final year of the grant during 2014-2015.