Performance Pay Without the Performance: DISD Could Give Employees Extra Cash For Showing Up

Performance pay in public education is a touchy subject. It seems like a good enough idea in theory, but once you get into the details of how exactly performance will be defined and measured in practice, things start to get thorny. One option for avoiding controversy: Define performance as attendance and give extra money to everyone who shows up.

That's what the DISD board will consider at its briefing Thursday. Chief talent officer Charles Glover has proposed implementing "attendance performance pay" for the coming school year, which focuses very little on performance and very much on attendance.

From the briefing:

This proposal meets the intended purpose of compensating the hard working employees of Dallas ISD and rewarding those who are demonstrating outstanding attendance. It is important as the district goes through a transformation to make a meaningful and immediate investment in our district's human capital. The proposed APP will benefit all levels of employees regardless of tenure and/or role in the district. There are three opportunities in FY 2013 for employees to earn additional income for outstanding attendance.

In other words, a not-quite-across-the-board bonus. Spokesman Jon Dahlander said he doesn't have any additional info on how often employees will have to show up to get the bonus, or how much the bonus will be. But he does note that pay's been flat for a while now, and that central staff received a small pay cut last year.

Maybe this will dampen the criticism of Superintendent Mike Miles for spending so lavishly on his cabinet. Or maybe not.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson