Performance pay plan approved for Peoria Unified teachers, administrators


The Peoria Unified School District governing board has approved a performance pay plan for certificated staff members and teachers that will be used to pay them at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Under the plan, teacher performance pay is based on three components: 33% for performance classification; 50% for graduation rate; and 17% for their teacher/student learning objective score, a specific learning goal with specific measures of student learning.

Governing Board member Beverly Pingerelli was the lone dissenter.. She felt the plan does not go far enough to recognize those teachers who are going above and beyond the requirements.

Most teachers get 100% for performance classification and graduation rate.

Ms. Pingerelli said 99.6% of district teachers get paid for the performance classification category and no teacher has fallen below a 90% graduation rate.

She said those two categories are a given and teachers automatically get them, according to district numbers.

More of what is really needed is the student learning objective, which is reviewed through conversation between the teacher and through the collection of data that demonstrates completion of the goal.

As part of their evaluation, teachers get 100% if they score a 3 or 4 on the student learning objective.

The money needs to go to people who are highly effective, and what’s highly effective is academics, Ms. Pingerelli said.

“I’ve been told that I am political. I know a lot of teachers that are completely opposite of where I stand but they are fantastic teachers. I would love to see those teachers and staff get more. And teachers that are not doing as well, not get as much. That would incentivize people to actually put in 100 percent. I think this really needs to have a change,” she said.

The governing board is required to annually review and approve the performance pay plan for certificated staff members. The approved performance plan will be fully implemented for the 2019-20 school year.

Chief Personnel Officer Carter Davidson said evaluation committees will next review performance pay plans for the 2020-21 school year, with a recommendation to be brought to the governing board next spring.

Mr. Davidson said Ms. Pingerelli’s suggestion will be considered for next year’s pay plan.

“That type of conversation is what we are going to be bringing to our committees, to look at and really examine where those percentages fall and where that money should go,” he said.

About 88% of district teachers support the pay plan based on a voluntary survey taken in September. Nearly 1,600 certified employees responded to the survey, while about 250 did not.

President Monica Ceja Martinez said performance pay is not a one board-term process and the district needs all employees to participate in the survey.

“Not everybody is responding to the surveys and that is detrimental to the feedback and the progress we make as a district. If you don’t provide feedback we can’t make changes based on those answers,” she said.

“Going forward I would like to see a 100% response rate. Best practice in private industry is above 90%. Also look at administration feedback ... town halls, going from school to school, engaging in conversation to move the dial so that we can have those results match compensation and vise/versa.”

Governing board member David Sandoval said performance pay continually evolves based on how the district shifts.

“There are so many dynamics that go into what a classroom looks like and how we evaluate that,” he said. “This seems to be the most equitable at this point, until we further define student success and implement and look at all those dynamics.”