CMS chief Peter Gorman today released a new four-year plan for the school system that could change the way teachers are trained and paid.

In his annual State of Our Schools Address at ImaginOn, Gorman said one of the district’s goals will be to define what effective teaching looks like and then reward those who excel.

“There are 15,000 school districts in America, and I’m concerned there are 15,000 definitions of effective teaching,” he said. “We can’t have that. We need consistent standards across the country… When we improve teaching and manage performance, every child gets a better education.”

Gorman said the four-year plan, titled “Strategic Plan 2014: Teaching Our Way to the Top,” will also focus on ensuring that more CMS students graduate on time.

Gorman’s latest four-year plan replaces a 2010 plan, which was released in 2006. That earlier plan outlined goals to ensure that the district provided students with “the best education available anywhere.”

Pay-for-performance has long been controversial among teachers.

Gorman said the 2014 plan represents “a major shift in direction in the way CMS will choose, train, pay and retain teachers. “

Relying on credentials and tenure alone is not the best approach to determining who is an effective educator, he said. Instead, the district will rely more heavily on student proficiency and student growth.
Gorman said the plan would not be limited to teachers but would apply to employee performance across all levels of the district. Staff will work to create new evaluation tools and growth plans for employees with specific, measurable goals for performance.

To improve teaching and manage performance, the plan will focus on six areas:

  • Effective Teaching and Leadership
  • Performance Management
  • Increasing the Graduation Rate
  • Teaching and Learning Through Technology
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Parent and Community Connections

Strategic Plan 2014: Teaching Our Way to the Top, as well as a review of the 2010 plan, are available on the CMS Web site.

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