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Denver Teachers Contract Approved

September 17, 1999

DENVER (AP) _ The Denver school board approved a contract for its 4,300 teachers, paving the way for an ambitious plan that ties pay to individual classroom performance.

``I think we have a great opportunity here to really show we can improve the education opportunities for children of Denver Public Schools,″ board member Les Woodward said.

The three-year contract, approved by the board Thursday, calls for a trial run of the plan that links teacher pay to student performance.

About 10 percent of the district’s teachers are expected to participate in the voluntary trial, in which participants receive $1,000 if they meet two sets of goals to be developed with principals and teachers.

After two years, union members can vote to end the program or expand it to include all teachers.

The contract also calls for a 2.54 percent cost-of-living raise and additional daily planning time.

``I’m very pleased we will be working collaboratively with the district,″ said Becky Wissink, vice president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. ``It’s exciting, but it’s also unsettling.″

The Denver plan would reward a teacher based solely on the performance of his or her individual classes, unlike other programs that link teacher raises to overall performance of schools or to a broad definition of merit.

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