DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Independent School District could become the first public school district in Texas to pay teachers based on how well their students perform.

The proposal is all a part of Superintendent Mike Mile’s plan to improve graduation rates, but he may have a tough fight on his hands.

Consider it the next chapter in the Miles movement for DISD.

Emily Reynosa is in year number two for her teaching career. Since her students are American newcomers, there are 13 different languages spoken in her class.

“It’s challenging absolutely,” she said.

On the table for 10,000 DISD teachers like Reynosa is new language that translates, interprets and defines their salaries. Superintendent Miles calls it strategic compensation.

He said, “We are trying to define excellence, support excellence, and then reward excellence.”
Under the Miles’ district improvement plan, a teacher’s pay and work evaluation would be tied to student achievement in the classroom.

Miles explained it simply. “At the end of the day, an effective teacher has to grow student achievement. That’s the job.”

Under the proposed Teacher Excellence Initiative, one-third of a classroom educator’s job evaluation would be tied to student test score data.

Teacher groups turn to newcomer classes like Reynosa’s, saying her success and the growth of her students shouldn’t be measured with a test score.

Rena Honea is the president of Alliance AFT. “If you’re giving a true evaluation of that teacher, you need to know where the kids start when the teacher gets them and where they end at the end of the year,’ she explained. “You measure that progress, not everybody else’s.”

It will be up to the Dallas school board to determine if pay for performance will be adopted.

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