Minnesota: Performance pay

Under a federal grant, teachers in the Minneapolis and Waseca school districts may qualify for bonuses based on peer reviews and improved student achievement, according to the Sept. 14 St. Paul Pioneer Press. Teachers will get bonuses of $500 to $3,500 based on test score gains and peer evaluations, and can qualify to become master teachers and coaches for additional bonuses of up to $8,000. Three Minneapolis schools and all four schools in Waseca will participate. Each district will receive $2.6 million. Minnesota is one of eight states in the federal program.

North Carolina: Best teachers

State officials are planning for school districts to begin pairing their best teachers with the lowest-achieving students, according to the Sept. 9 Post and Courier. The state Supreme Court ruled in July that school districts need to do a better job of educating needy children. Local school superintendents say experienced teachers are likely to resist reassignment without incentives. One idea up for debate would offer teachers $16,000 in incentive pay over seven years.

Washington D.C.: Unused vouchers

More than one in five students who qualified for the nation’s first federally funded voucher program have not taken advantage of the chance to attend private schools in the city, according to the Sept. 1 Washington Post. Parents cited a variety of reasons for their decision, including transportation challenges and a preference for programs in public or charter schools. Of the 1,359 students who were awarded vouchers, 1,069 had been placed or were being matched to private schools.

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