Case | 2013

Career Pathways, Performance Pay, and Peer-review Promotion in Baltimore City Public Schools

by Susan Moore Johnson, John J-H Kim, Geoff Marietta, S. Elisabeth Faller and James Noonan

Abstract

In the fall of 2012, Dr. Andres Alonso had much to celebrate about in his five-year tenure as CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, including the approval and implementation of an innovative teachers' contract with a jointly-governed four-tier career pathway that tied teacher pay and promotion to performance and peer review. Nonetheless, Alonso was concerned about the future of the contract and the reforms it introduced. It took two votes before the teachers ratified the contract in November 2010. Since then, implementation had been laborious, complicated, and uncertain. Many questions would have to be answered in the coming months. Was the district making the transition to a contract that rewarded "engagement" in a career pathway rather than passive reliance on steps and lanes? Were the processes for earning Achievement Units and progressing through the pathways rigorous enough so that the contract wouldn't default to the past practice where everyone moves up and earns more money? Were the joint governance structures established to direct and manage the career pathways, pay system, and peer-review process working effectively? How did the new system support the district's underlying theory of change? This is a Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) case study.

Keywords: labor management; public education; PELP; union; compensation; collaboration; Public Education Leadership Project; Education Industry; United States;

Citation:

Johnson, Susan Moore, John J-H Kim, Geoff Marietta, S. Elisabeth Faller, and James Noonan. "Career Pathways, Performance Pay, and Peer-review Promotion in Baltimore City Public Schools." Harvard Business Publishing Case, 2013. (Case No. PEL-071.)