Frist, Alexander Applaud Performance Pay Funding For Memphis Teachers and Principals

Posted on November 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded the U.S. Department of Education’s $3.1 million grant to Memphis City Schools and New Leaders for New Schools under the Teacher Incentive Fund. The funding is for a period of one year, with a total of $13.8 million expected over five years. “Improving our nation’s schools begins with recruiting the best educators,” said Frist. “The funding will help bring effective teachers and principals into the Memphis community by rewarding them for higher student achievement. Senator Alexander and I thank the Department of Education for investing in the Memphis area’s needy schools.” “This is very good news for Memphis schools and Memphis community leaders who have worked so hard to earn this recognition,” Alexander said. “This award is much more than just another education program. It is based on the hard-rock fact that schools with great principals are almost always very good schools and that paying good teachers and principals more for teaching and leading well is just plain common sense.” “Nothing helps a child learn as much as a great teacher – and great schools are led by great principals,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. “I am pleased to announce this Teacher Incentive Fund grant to New Leaders for New Schools and Memphis City Schools, which will encourage more experienced principals and teachers to work at high-poverty schools where they can make a real difference in raising student achievement.” “The Memphis City Schools’ mission is ‘Academic Achievement: #1’,” said Memphis City Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson. “We know the impact great teachers and great principals can have on student achievement. Every child has the ability to learn and we are proud of the outstanding educators who are truly making a difference. This grant will ensure that these exceptional teachers and principals are recognized and rewarded for their tremendous work and encourage them to share their successful best practices with other educators locally and nationally.” The grant to Memphis City Schools and New Leaders for New Schools is one of 16 initial grants under the Teacher Incentive Fund, a federal program that supports the development and implementation of performance-based pay systems for teachers and principals. Memphis City Schools and New Leaders for New Schools, together with other partners, will use the funding to reward exemplary teachers and principals who increase student achievement, and to identify and spread effective practices to other schools. The grant will target high-need schools serving thousands of students in the district.