Waco ISD Superintendent proposes teacher incentive plan - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Waco ISD Superintendent proposes teacher incentive plan

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At a time when cuts to education seem to be the norm, Waco ISD may be investing more. The district's superintendent plans to announce a merit pay incentive plan at Thursday's school board meeting.

In the STAAR MASTERS PLAN, campuses and teachers could earn bonuses based on their student's test scores.

If the board approves the plan all WISD teachers whose students take STAAR or Advanced Placement tests would be eligible to earn some extra cash. A high school teacher could earn an extra $4,000-$5,000 at the end of the school year.

Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain will unveil the details of her plan to raise test scores by rewarding teachers and is asking the board to approve the plan on a one-year trial basis.

"Our number one problem is student performance," says Dr. Cain. 

The incentive plan is divided into three components. The first would reward schools for meeting campus wide TEA standards. The second is for getting their disadvantaged students to get a passing grade, even if the school doesn't. The final component is for advanced placement teachers, whose students pass the exam with a score of three or higher.

"There's a lot of pressure on us for student performance and then the district in turn puts a lot of pressure on teachers."

If the board approves the plan, WISD would be the only district in the area to offer teachers performance-based bonuses. Temple, Belt on and Killeen ISD told me they don't have a teacher incentive plan in place.

"We believe that much in our students mastering that information, getting caught up, so then we can get ahead of everybody else," said Dr. Cain.

Higher scores won't come cheap. The new plan could take more than a million dollars from the districts reserve funds.

"You can kind of think of it as a jump-start program," said Dr. Cain. "I feel like, this entire community would feel like it would be worth that million dollars if this time next year 90-percent of our Low SES students meet the standard and master that test."

WISD's school board won't vote on the plan Thursday but they could take action later this month.

If approved, the new incentive plan wouldn't go into affect until the 2014-2015 school year.

To see a copy of the proposal click here, (pages 253-256).

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