Questions to ask before implementing an alternative pay system

Shared goals

  • Achievement: What do we hope to see in terms of student achievement? What is a reasonable expectation for improvement and in what areas? 
  • Instruction: In what ways do teachers and the district want or expect professional practice to change under ATPPS? What new or additional steps will we be willing to take to improve practice?
  • Compensation: What behaviors or outcomes do we want to compensate under alterative compensation? How will instruction translate into earning additional salary for teachers? Will a new system result in higher pay?
  • How important is it to improve teaching and learning? How important is the additional revenue? (Can the above goals be met without adopting ATPPS? How?)

Capacity for meaningful professional development

  • What specific programs or strategies are the district and local union already doing to enhance and build meaningful professional growth?
  • How will we build on existing systems, processes and relationships?
  • Is there an existing evaluation system for teachers? How well is it working? Do outcomes from evaluation link back to instructional practice?
  • What changes are the district and teachers willing to make to the school day and year to allow for collaboration and other professional development activities?

Decision-making process

  • How will membership and responsibilities in the joint oversight committee be determined?
  • What steps will be taken to ensure that all communication with the Minnesota Department of Education is made and received jointly?
  • Is there consensus about whether the plan will be district-wide or site-by-site?
  • What process will be followed if either the district or union determines that they will no longer participate?
  • What steps will we take to assess the union membership’s willingness to proceed with ATPPS throughout the process?
  • What steps will both the union and district take to ensure that the plan is inclusive of all eligible staff, including specialists, counselors, nurses, etc.?

District communication and administration systems

  • How will data be gathered, analyzed and used to support decision-making on instructional and compensation-related issues?
  • How will questions by staff be answered during the planning and implementation process of an ATPPS plan?
  • How will the district and union communicate with the public about the development and implementation of a plan?

Finances (revenue and expenditure decisions)

  • Will the district levy the full or partial amount for ATPPS?
  • How will we keep dollars closest to the students?
  • How do we maximize the revenue going to compensation and minimize administrative overhead?
  • Will other sources of funds (i.e., staff development or general fund money) be used to supplement ATPPS revenue? How will those decisions be reached?