Chairman: No cuts in new salary system for teachers
by Lindsay Field
September 20, 2013 12:36 AM | 3215 views | 7 7 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Randy Weiner
Randy Weiner
MARIETTA — Marietta Board of Education Chairman Randy Weiner says a shift in how teachers are paid over the coming years will not lead to a decrease in salary, a fear many teachers hold.

Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck intends to roll out presentations over the next six weeks to the district’s 602 teachers at each of Marietta’s 12 schools, including the Performance Learning Center, to further explain the new salary structure.

The school board last week approved Lembeck’s staff to develop a new pay system for teachers that would be based on how much student improve on standardized tests during a school year.

It would also take into consideration how effective teachers are in the classroom using a new evaluation process, and would take effect in the 2015-16 school year.

Right now, teacher salaries are determined by years of experience and the number of degrees and certifications they hold. The average salary, without benefits, is $55,307 for Marietta teachers.

Lembeck will also meet in coming weeks with Marietta’s Teachers of the Year, the Cobb Education Consortium Leadership Academy, Aspiring Leaders and individual School Governance Teams.

Weiner said the presentations will outline major changes and clarify some information, including that no one’s salary will decrease as a result of the change, which is one of the biggest concerns teachers have.

“A teacher’s current salary will be their new base pay,” he said Wednesday morning.

Another concern was what will happen if teachers are in the midst of earning a new degree. Weiner said those additional degrees and certifications will be honored.

Otherwise, the teachers he’s spoken to seem to like the plan.

Marietta High School Principal Leigh Colburn sent an email last week to her staff about the upcoming meeting with Lembeck and Associate Superintendent Dayton Hibbs on Oct. 7.

“I sat through a presentation earlier this week regarding the proposal, and I found it to have great potential,” Colburn’s email states. “I agree that varying an educator’s salary based upon his/her total impact to the school and our students is the direction to go for our future.

“We all know that the greatest educational resource in any school building is the personnel, and implementing this structure could move us closer to our goal of becoming the school system of choice for highly skilled and dedicated educators.”

Feedback is key

In an attempt to address any additional concerns or questions, teachers can submit feedback or questions online through the district’s “Compensation Q & A,” and they can also email their input to a designated address.

“We are responding to the feedback by continuously updating a ‘Compensation Q & A’ that is available to all MCS teachers in the employee portal,” Hibbs said.

“The primary concern thus far pertains to how current teachers will transition into the new system. For this reason, we have stressed that our current teachers would not earn less than they are currently making.”

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Marietta Mom
September 20, 2013
It is always easy to make someone or some group a target - looks like the teachers are now the target at Marietta City Schools. All of the students success and failures are now pinned solely on the teachers regardless of their home life, the number of different schools they move around from, the days of school they miss, the love they do or don’t get at home, etc., etc., etc.. The parents may not do a darn thing to help their children in their education but the teacher is now the one that will pay the price!
September 21, 2013
The posts I read here must not be from teachers at all or only from scared bad ones. My students can, do and will show academic growth! I teach at a title I school in the MCS district. Some of my students come to school with all sorts of dysfunction in the home, BUT they leave it at the door to my classroom. They love coming to my class because my relationship with my students is very strong! I care about each one of them and teach them like they were my own children. My classroom test results have been improving each year along with my students who EXCEED standards. All of us work very hard. It's nice to be rewarded and recognized for that hard work.

It can be done and it happens everyday here at my school and many others!

Teachers here in this district don't feel targeted- we feel appreciated and respected.
My Opinion
September 20, 2013
I don’t understand why just the teachers are the ones being held accountable for the students’ progress and not the school’s administration as well? I think everyone would agree the school administration and how they administer and run the school can make a major impact on how well the teachers and the students perform. Again why just hold the teachers accountable? Seems like a big cop out to me not to make everyone’s pay based on performance including the assistant principals, principles and everyone all the way up to the superintendent herself! Do not all members of the school system play an important part of the students’ achievement? Just laying it all on the teachers’ and their paychecks seems really really unfair!
September 20, 2013
Why is it that everyone wants to hold the teachers solely accountable for student learning? Why are parents not held accountable? I have taught for 21 years. In that time, I have had children absent from school because there was no one to babysit siblings. I even had one absent because furniture was being delivered at home and mom couldn't take any more time off from work so the child has to receive the furniture. I have had numerous students not complete homework, parents never attend conferences and hang up on you if you call to start communication between the home and school. I had parents that I never met. One student came in and said they couldn't do their homework because their books were inside the house and mom had a "friend" over and they had to sleep at the neighbor's house. Until parents are held responsible for their part in raising the children they choose to bring into the world, why should teachers bear all the responsibility? BTW, I taught in a Title I school for 10 years. I never wanted to be at another school. If pat was increased or decreased because of student learning, I might not have chosen that school. Many teachers will feel that way as well.
Great Idea
September 20, 2013
Performance-based pay system for teachers is a great idea. The only concern I have is what kind of metrics Central Office is using to evaluate the IB Coordinators, Literacy Specialist, Math Specialist and other positions recently created by the Superintendent and the inexperienced Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Is there research to support the impact of these positions in the classroom? The fact is these same positions were unsuccessful at Marietta City Schools in the past. I hope the board is creating metrics to hold these employees accountable. I would recommend that board shadow these employees to better understand their contribution or lack of contribution. Additionally, I would recommend teachers providing confidential feedback on these employees. It appears that the Superintendent does not have a strategy; she struggles to reach the school system’s educational goals. She continues to spend money by increasing headcount in areas that have proven to be unsuccessful in the past.

Another way for the MCS Board to allocate more resources in the classroom is to evaluate the value of well-compensated positions, such as the Associate Superintendent,Assistant Superintendent for Special Services,Executive Director of Maintenance and Support, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction,and the Director of Communications. What performance metrics are these individuals measured and held accountable?

An educator
September 20, 2013
I love your comments "Great Idea" hit a homeroom in my book.
Marietta Teacher
September 21, 2013
I agree there needs to be a way to provide feedback on the specialist that come into the classroom. Some do a great job and others just barely show up – the ones that work hard really make a difference with the students. I am a teacher in one of the Marietta City Schools with a large Hispanic population and my students are supposed to get special ESOL help and support on a daily basis. I am lucky if the teacher shows up once a week in my classroom!
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