This week, Minneapolis educators have the opportunity to take a step forward toward elevating our profession by valuing and supporting effective teaching.
Members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) are casting their votes this week to determine if our district should take part in the Quality Compensation (Q Comp) program offered by the state since 2005. Q Comp provides funding for teacher leadership roles, job-embedded professional development including more collaboration time, improved implementation of teacher evaluation, performance pay for student achievement, and alternative compensation for teachers taking additional courses.
Over $9 million for Minneapolis Public Schools is at stake if teachers approve the agreement that has already been approved by the Minneapolis Public Schools Board and accepted by the Minnesota Department of Education.
As a teacher, I support this effort and would encourage my colleagues to vote yes as well. While imperfect, the Q Comp plan has the potential to improve student learning, especially if it’s implemented in a way that includes more input from a wider variety of educators.
Would support site-based and data-based decisions
I am voting yes for the possibility of how Q Comp could advance teaching and learning. Schools need this plan to support site-based and data-based decisions to meet our unique student needs in order to provide truly job-embedded professional development for teachers.
I am voting yes for including teacher voices and teacher expertise in creating an innovative Q Comp plan that supports sites like my school — Ramsey Middle School — that have outcomes-based, student-based teacher leadership models in place. These sites where teacher leadership is strong and school culture is healthy are desperately seeking district support to sustain their hard work.
I am voting yes in support of what the plan could be if MPS and the MFT work with teachers to continue to improve it over the course of the year. Q Comp could be one of the ways to increase student achievement, narrow the achievement gap, and raise the professionalism of teaching. However, to do that, teachers themselves need to be more actively involved in shaping this plan. We need to encourage significant changes in teacher practice to increase student achievement; and this plan needs to go further to do accomplish that goal.
Ways plan can be improved
In particular, I think the plan must be strengthened to include stronger student-centered outcomes, clearer indicators for success, and more innovative career pathways that reward teacher expertise and keep teacher leaders from leaving the classroom. I want to be part of shaping the outcomes or indicators for success in this MPS Q Comp proposal and any others going forward.
I am voting yes because I am against the status quo even though the current plan needs to go further to change it. I am voting yes because I am searching for ways to become a better teacher, and I see Q Comp as an opportunity to support me in someday becoming a board certified teacher and in getting better results for students. Please help me become a better teacher. Vote yes.
Holly Kragthorpe is a teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools, a union steward for the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and a school captain for Educators 4 Excellence of Minnesota.
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