- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Seven school districts in Oregon will no longer be required to base teachers’ pay on student test scores.

A federally funded grant involving the seven districts across the state has expired, releasing the districts from a requirement that teachers and principals be paid based on student achievement, The Bulletin of Bend reported (https://bit.ly/1VNmfqg).

In 2010, Bend-La Pine, Redmond, Crook County and four other districts were chosen to split a $24.4 million federal grant in coordination with the Chalkboard Project, a Portland-based education reform group.

The districts were working to find new models for teacher evaluations, professional development and compensation while working on Chalkboard’s CLASS Project, which stands for creative leadership achieves student success.

Officials said the achievement-pay requirement was criticized for not focusing on student success.

“That did change the landscape a bit in terms of what we set out to do,” said Lynn Evans, human resources director for Redmond School District. “In the CLASS model, that was the last component districts would discuss, and certainly the most controversial and challenging.”

Now that the grant money has run out, districts are no longer required to anchor pay with performance.

Chalkboard and the education research firm Education Northwest published a report last month saying they found evaluation scores weren’t the best motivation for teachers.

“There are so many variables that impact student performance on a high-stakes exam,” Bend-La Pine Deputy Superintendent Jay Mathisen said. “To start paying teachers for the scores on a single high-stakes exam is just not a good use of money.”

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com


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