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NEA and Alexandria Public Schools Team Up on Compensation Reform

Partnership’s goal: to build 21st century teaching and learning environment

WASHINGTON - October 12, 2011 -

In what may be a first of its kind partnership, the National Education Association  and Alexandria City Public Schools have teamed up to review and make recommendations on how ACPS recruits, places, develops, evaluates and compensates its employees.

This joint effort – with a national organization and a local school district partnering on comprehensive compensation reform – is unique in that it leverages NEA’s technical resources with the experience of ACPS teachers and staff. The intent is to go beyond current pay-for-performance models and to develop the best possible system to support 21st century teaching and create an exceptional student learning environment.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel along with Dr. Morton Sherman, superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools, and Gina Miller, president of the Education Association of Alexandria, say the Association and the school district’s collaboration is a strategic approach designed to create the next generation of compensation innovation. The initiative will also combine an examination of compensation and benefit programs with personal growth opportunities to create a motivated work environment for employees.

“Any discussion about teacher compensation should always begin with this essential question: Is the compensation system actually designed to improve teaching and learning?” said Van Roekel. “We should innovate and try ideas that offer promise for student success. But we should do so with intelligence and focus. We know compensation is just one piece of the puzzle. You have to tackle recruitment, training, and career development. In this groundbreaking partnership, you have school management and unions working together and relying on decades of expertise, experience and ever-increasing research to create a successful compensation system. This effort illustrates the power of collaboration.”

Superintendent Morton echoed this sentiment, calling the collaboration with NEA “a phenomenal opportunity” for ACPS. “This new model will promote continuous learning and demonstrated performance that will enhance student achievement and that is our priority,” he continued. “ACPS is thrilled to be the only public school division in the country to enter this unique collaboration with NEA. I am confident that it will help us advance our vision to set the international standard for educational excellence, where all students achieve their potential and actively contribute to our local and global communities.”

As the external partner to ACPS, NEA will facilitate the work of the school district’s employee design groups by providing expert speakers, research, assessment, planning and execution for its work in five areas of study, including career-ladders, salary, benefits, professional learning time and students’ time (e.g. extended day, extended year, etc.)

"The Education Association of Alexandria is proud to facilitate this partnership between ACPS and NEA," said Gina A. Miller, president of EAA. "We look forward to sharing the knowledge and expertise that NEA can bring to our school division's Benefits and Compensation Committee.  We hope this partnership can forge a path that puts ACPS at the national forefront of salaries and benefits for teachers," she said. 

The project is expected to take three years (2011-2014), with various phases that will impact teachers, support staff and administrators.

For more information on the project, visit:
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) serves 12,466 students who hail from more than 128 countries and speak 80 languages. Focused on transforming its 19 schools, including two middle school campuses of five schools and internationally recognized T.C. Williams High School, ACPS is a school division on the rise committed to ensuring that each and every student succeeds — academically, emotionally, physically, and socially.

CONTACT: Dana Dossett (202) 822-7823,
                            Kelly L. Alexander  (703) 824-6635,