Individual plans will be developed for each participating school and could reward individual teachers or the staff as a whole.
Teachers in some of Tennessee’s toughest schools will win bonuses of up to $10,000 under a federal grant aimed at rewarding effective educators willing to take on a challenge.
The state won $35 million for the effort, one of 32 groups picked by the U.S. Department of Education for a payout from the $1.2 billion Teacher Incentive Fund.
n Metro Nashville, teachers in 22 schools will be eligible. But the announcement comes just days after Vanderbilt University researchers unveiled a study showing there’s no relationship between teacher bonuses and a boost in student test scores.
State officials counter that the grant will help them better understand what kinds of programs are useful to recruiting and retaining good teachers — something the Vanderbilt study did not test. The state’s program also will include teacher training.
“This has given us the opportunity to look and see what is effective,” said Debbie Owens, executive director for federal programs for the state Department of Education. “We’re not saying we have the answers. We’re saying this is going to help to answer some questions that are remaining.”
The money will be doled out over five years in more than 100 schools — those with generally low student achievement and high poverty — in 14 districts. Individual plans will be developed for each participating school and could reward individual teachers or the staff as a whole.
Memphis and Knoxville school districts won individual grants under the same fund and will receive $9.4 million and $26.4 million, respectively.
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Source: Jaime Sarrio | The Tennessean