Board passes new accountability rules
The South Dakota Board of Education passed the new accountability rules at its meeting last month. The board was able to address two of the three written comments received through the public hearing process one related to career readiness and the other related to volatility of scores in schools with small student populations.
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New school year means updates to SDMyLife system
Updated district courses are now listed on SDMyLife.com, the online career development tool provided through the Department of Education. Also, by keeping Infinite Campus data current, you can ensure your SDMyLife student roster is accurate. Encourage school counselors to take a moment to double check the system roster. For more information or assistance, send an email to sdmylife@state.sd.us.

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Local Teacher Reward Plan Advisory Council meets


Dr. Tim Mitchell, superintendent of the Rapid City Area Schools, gives a presentation to the Local Teacher Reward Plan Advisory Council during a meeting last month. His presentation focused on ProComp, an alternative compensation model being used by the Denver public school system.

The Local Teacher Reward Plan Advisory Council spent much of its day-long August meeting discussing incentive pay plans for teachers that have been used by other states.

Dr. Tim Mitchell, superintendent of the Rapid City Area Schools, gave a presentation on the ProComp Plan, which has been used in the Denver School District for the past nine years.

The ProComp Plan has four components: Knowledge and Skills, Professional Evaluation, Student Growth, and Market Incentives.

I dont think its perfect but its an example of what one school district has done, Mitchell said. Its been neat to see the evolution of it over nine years.

It started out as a four-year Pay for Performance pilot project in 16 Denver schools from 1999-2003. It measured teacher objective setting and student growth. The pilot found that teachers who set the highest objectives had students with the highest growth.

Today, its a bargained agreement between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools. A task force with representation from both groups was formed to make sure the ProComp Plan is doing what it set out to accomplish. Interest from the private sector has helped it expand.

It was designed to link teacher compensation more directly with the mission and goals of both groups, Mitchell said. The teachers were on board. I think thats key. The teachers have to be on board from the beginning in order to be successful.

The plan followed national trends by incorporating professional learning, rewarding increases in student achievement, and basing its plan on additional criteria, including a group evaluation component, additional responsibilities taken on by teachers, and a high needs component.

The Local Teacher Reward Plan Advisory Council was tasked with formulating a model plan that local school districts could use to reward teachers.

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