Virtually all the teachers in the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) are doing well enough to receive a roughly $2,000, state-funded performance pay bonus.
The Legislature originally intended the extra pot of money to reward the best teachers, but left the criteria up to the districts. Turns out, according to most school districts, just about every teacher deserves a performance pay boost.
The school board voted to grant performance pay to 128 teachers at its June 5 meeting.
“We can confirm all schools reached their goals,” Superintendent Ron Hitchcock told the board, “The last step is for the board to vote to approve performance pay for all those staff eligible to receive performance pay.”
The performance pay this year depends on both student test scores and teacher attendance at professional development days.
At Payson High School for students taking the AIMS test, 82 percent met or exceeded the reading requirements, 57 percent met or exceeded in math, and 40 percent of students met or exceeded in science. That met the goals for their teachers to get performance pay.
At the high school, all sophomores take the reading and math tests, juniors and seniors take the test if they have not passed. Freshmen who have taken biology take the biology test.
Rim Country Middle School (RCMS) used the iSteep (System to Enhance Educational Performance) tests to determine sixth, seventh and eighth grade student achievement.
Julia Randall Elementary and Payson Elementary School (PES) based student achievement on benchmarks. PES gave pre- and post-tests.
The schools had different targets for students to master the different grade-level materials, ranging from 60 to 80 percent depending on the school and the subject. Each school used different terms to describe its expectations. The high school was very precise, using the well-known AIMS test as an example. The middle school used a national test, but one not well known to the public. The elementary schools did not define the tests they used. They just described their expectations as benchmarks.
Payson Center for Success, the alternative high school, was more vague than the other four schools prompting questions from board president Barbara Underwood.
“When you pull up PCS, theirs is very small,” she said. “It did not show that they met it. Where does it show what they’ve done and what they did?”
Jim Quinlan replied to her question by assuring Underwood that the board would revise the format next year to make it easier to understand.