TA in Action: Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS), Indiana

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TA in Action

For more than a year, the TLP team worked onsite with FWCS and its local bargaining unit to provide TA focused on performance-based compensation systems (PBCS) and career ladder systems. The partnership with FWCS began as a concerted effort to help FWCS maintain TIF grant compliance, for which a targeted team of TA providers and the monitor spent time onsite with the grantee. This effort evolved into a thought partnership and led to the district and bargaining unit agreeing on the shell of a new compensation system that includes teacher developmental levels, criteria for advancement and teacher leadership roles with additional pay. The TA team collaborated with the grantee to develop its model and student achievement growth data, as well as determine future costs of transitioning to a new salary structure.

Dr. Laura Cain, assistant to the superintendent for strategic initiatives of FWCS and the TIF project director, noted that TA has been a critical resource for the TIF grantee as district administration and teachers have been designing a compensation plan as required by Indiana state law.

"Having access to experienced professionals has been critical to that process. Jointly we benefit from their experience as facilitators of labor and management projects. Their guidance has helped us avoid pitfalls, false starts and dead ends. Their knowledge of various compensation plans has expanded our concept of what is possible and how it might be accomplished. Finally, and what I believe TIF administrators intended when they initially allowed for technical assistance, they give us an unbiased opinion, focused on the task without the internal concerns that sometimes delay completing a project."

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