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Performance-Based Teacher Compensation


2019-20 GCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year Finalists for 2019-2020 represent two elementary, two middle, and two high schools, and six different clusters from across the county. They are shining examples of the great teachers found in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

In Gwinnett County Public Schools, we believe that there are great teachers in every school in the district and that recognizing the top-performing teachers at every school acknowledges that, despite their differences, all schools have teachers who deserve to be celebrated.

J. Alvin Wilbanks,
CEO/Superintendent

Why did Gwinnett County Public Schools move to a Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System?

Advances the district’s work toward a teacher effectiveness system based on performance

  • Supports the Strategic Initiative that focuses on implementing revised evaluation and compensation systems
  • Serves as a means to clearly communicate compensation information to teachers
  • Maintains a salary index schedule for GCPS
  • Allows teachers to identify their base salary from the salary schedule
  • Uses fair metrics to reward performance

Increases the district’s capacity to recruit and retain effective teachers

  • Encourages best teachers to stay in Gwinnett; provides greater opportunities for new teachers
  • Establishes performance, not experience credit, as the criteria for movement on the salary schedule
  • Bases advancement on the salary schedule on a summary evaluation rating of “proficient” or higher
  • Rewards highly effective teachers with a performance pay award

Builds the capacity of teachers

  • Emphasizes professional development and preparation
  • Focuses staff development on an educator’s teaching responsibilities and their contributions to the teaching/ learning process

Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System (PBTCS)

In the fall of 2015, Gwinnett County Public Schools kicked off a three-year process to implement a fair, flexible compensation system to provide opportunities for employees to be rewarded and recognized for exceptional performance rather than solely years of service. The initial work on the system focused on compensation for certified staff members. The Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System rewards individual teachers who meet expectations on their performance evaluations and provides financial awards to top performing teachers at the district and school levels. There are two parts to the new system— a Performance-Based Salary Schedule and a Performance-Based Award.


GCPS to resume Performance-Based Awards with 2020-21 school year

Due to the disruption of the school year and the impact this has had on data collection, GCPS will not calculate scores or issue Performance-Based Awards (PBA) for this school year (2019-20). Therefore, no award distribution will occur in December of 2020. When schools return to normal operation, data collection will begin for the 2020-21 school year. District leaders will continue to consider feedback received regarding the PBAs. Dr. Jeff Mathews, assistant superintendent for Leadership Development, says the initial rollout of the awards went well in December and garnered helpful feedback and insight from teachers, but district leaders saw issues with the changed circumstances for spring data collection. “As we look to this year’s PBAs, we simply do not have the data to support the metrics,” Dr. Mathews explains. “However, we look forward to resuming the program in the fall.”

Performance-Based Salary Schedule

In August of 2017, GCPS transitioned all teachers and certified staff compensated on the district’s teacher salary schedule to a Performance-Based Salary Schedule. This salary schedule acknowledges performance— not time on the job— as the impetus for movement on the salary schedule. Under the Performance-Based Salary Schedule, a teacher advances one “performance step” for the next contract year upon achieving a rating of “Proficient” or higher on the annual Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS) or equivalent annual evaluation tool. Employees earning TAPS ratings of “Needs Development” or “Ineffective” will not move a performance step, but remain on their current step for the next contract year.

Performance-Based Awards

Performance-based awards are being implemented as Phase 2 of the overall Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System in 2018-19, with the first awards being distributed in the fall of 2019. GCPS created two paths to the awards to ensure more teachers have the opportunity to be eligible for the performance-based award. The Four-Metric Path is for eligible teachers who have scores on the four metrics (Professional Growth, TAPS Evaluation, Student Growth, and Weighted School Assessment). Eligible teachers with scores on all performance metrics except Student Growth will be included in the Three-Metric Path. It's one system with two paths to the awards, providing a great way for GCPS to recognize that there are great teachers in every school in the district who deserve to be celebrated. We also believe that rewarding outstanding teachers will help us with teacher recruitment, retention, and morale, all of which impact student achievement. Additionally, incentivizing top performance in every school will help us improve the education we provide across the district.

General Information and Eligibility:

Recent Superintendent's Messages:

GCPS Public (Main Tabs & Content) - Metrics Tracking Script
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