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February 28, 2009


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Joseph E. Brown, Sr. - Grand Meadow Superintendent

Q-Comp is much more than paying teachers differently from the two traditional variables of experience and education. The Minneapolis Star Tribune article failed to present a comprehensive picture of which teachers have earned some additional compensation under Q-Comp or the total possible compensation available under Q-Comp. For an example, at Grand Meadow ISD 495, only one team out of four made their Team Goal in reading. These teachers were paid an additional $250. Since the district did not make their reading goal, none of the 30 teachers were paid an additional $250 for meeting the District Reading Goal.

At Grand Meadow, Team Leaders are paid an additional $5,000 per year plus receive 20% release time from their teaching duties. This provides them the time to observe every teacher twice per year by a Team Leader. Peer coaches are paid an additional $1,500 per year to conduct staff development research and to write official minutes documenting weekly staff development meetings conducted by teachers for teachers.

The real important feature of Q-Comp is that it empowers teachers to have genuine input on how their local school serves students. The additional $260 per student in funding generates an $100,000 for Grand Meadow ISD 495. All of this additional revenue is invested on teachers.

Q-Comp is currently a voluntary program that is beneficial for schools. Grand Meadow has only been a Q-Comp school for 2 and one-half years. It has improved our teacher evaluation system, our school communication, our testing procedures, and increased our focus on teaching state standards.

Q-Comp is valuable, however, it is not a replacement for the more serious problem of underfunding K-12 public education over the past 10 years in Minnesota. The current school funding formula in Minnesota is inequitable and inadequate. In an ideal world, we would have a longer school day and a longer school year especially for those students that require additional instruction.

Now is the time for the legislature and the governor to take a leadership position on fixing the current funding formula. Failure to do this will result in negative consequences for the future of public education.

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