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Ariz. K-12 educators earn $4M in performance pay through grant

Arizona Ready for Rigor Project, TIF Grant, performance pay, 2011-12
November 15, 2012

Through the Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project, 1,750 teachers and administrators at 48 schools in 12 districts across the state will be receiving a total of nearly $4 million in performance-based compensation for the 2011-12 academic year. This project is a five-year $43.8 million U.S. Department of Education Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant being administered by Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

The Ready-for-Rigor Project provides performance-based compensation to Arizona teachers and school administrators based on effectiveness ratings generated through personnel or employee evaluations and growth in student achievement. Grant- and school-based support teams provide educators with continuous assistance and professional development opportunities through the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement.

“We strive for every Arizona student to have great teachers and principals,” says Virginia McElyea, Executive Director of the Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project. “This grant partnership supports teachers and principals through professional development activities and incentives for performance excellence in helping achieve this goal.”

District leadership has received the individual payout information for the participating 1,680 teachers and 70 administrators involved in the second wave of the grant. These educators should receive their payouts shortly through their respective districts. In total, the participating educators received $3,900,000. Individual teacher incentive pay averaged $2,340, with individuals receiving up to $12,200; administrators (principals and assistant principals) payout averaged $2,540, with payments up to $6,200.

The 48 schools are from these 12 participating districts: ASU Prep, Avondale Elementary, Chinle Unified, Deer Valley Unified, Gadsden Elementary, Ganado Elementary, Glendale Elementary, Mesa Public Schools, Murphy Elementary, Osborn Elementary, San Carlos Unified and Sunnyside Unified.

The first year of the grant, the 2010-11 school year, involved 500 teachers and administrators from 17 schools receiving $1.1 million. Wave 2 included the 48 schools currently in the payment process. The 2012-13 academic year has seen the project expand to 60 schools in 12 districts, with more than 2,100 teachers involved, impacting 44,000 students.

The Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project aims to develop and implement a performance-based compensation system in historically struggling schools for the purpose of increasing student achievement, retaining highly-effective educators, and fostering exemplary school culture in the highest-need communities across Arizona. To learn more about this project, and other grants involving the ASU Teachers College, visit: School Partnership Grant Programs.