Project IGNITE Policy Proposal

Proposed 3 Year Pilot Project: Project IGNITE

Inspiring Growth & New Instructional Techniques by Elevating Effective Educators

WILL:  (1) Increase student performance by (2) improving instructional practice, by (3) leveraging the current teacher evaluation system to (a) elevate effective educators (b) create advanced roles for master teachers, and (c) ease the administrative burden on principals while (4) providing low cost, highly relevant professional development opportunities for all teachers in affected schools.

Teaching methods need to evolve, quickly, and many of our teachers are meeting that challenge.  Unfortunately, few of our best teachers are recognized for their innovation and their colleagues remain unaware of what they are doing and why it is effective.  Meanwhile, school administrators are staggering under the administrative burdens of the current teacher evaluation system.

This pilot program will allow half of the small, medium, large and extra-large school districts in the state to receive funding so 10% of the teachers in that district can participate in this 3 year pilot program.  Selection of specific schools for participation in the pilot will be at the discretion of the district Superintendent.

At participating schools, teachers with 5 years of experience and “accomplished” ratings on 6 and “distinguished” on 2 of the 8 elements of Standard IV, plus one qualifying additional data measure (student surveys or EVAAS data) will apply to be recognized as master teachers.  As master teachers they will:

  • Declare publicly which standards on the teacher evaluation instrument they “specialize” in, and they will select one they are working to improve.
  • Maintain a document, accessible to the school faculty digitally and updated at regular intervals, that documents what strategies they are employing in the area of improvement they have selected, reflecting on the available data and assessing their progress.
  • Make their classrooms “open classrooms” where visitors and observers are always welcome.
  • Facilitate a cohort of non-master teachers to strategically engage in 2 days of learning rounds (one each semester) each year (with pre and post meetings for strategic planning and reflection) , visiting classrooms of other master teachers to gain insight on what strategies non-master teachers might adapt in their own teaching context.
  • In subsequent evaluation cycles (except for license renewal years), a summative evaluation and professional growth plan will not be required.
  • Receive a $1000 stipend per year.

The pilot would require funding for substitute teachers the two days master and non-master teachers are engaged in learning rounds, plus stipends, plus funding for a research organization to administer and evaluate the program.


Based on ADM

# of Districts

in category

Avg # of Teachers

per district

10% of that average # of Districts that could be selected Approx.. # of Teachers affected
Small Districts


79 300 30 40 1200
Medium Districts


26 1092 109 13 1417
Large Districts


8 2773 277 4 1108
Extra Large

( 75,000+)

2 10,088 1008 1 2017

The total # of teachers times the avg. daily substitute rate (91.50 x 2 for 2 days of learning rounds) = $1,050,786 x 3 years = 3, 152, 358 + $300,000 for admin / evaluation + stipends for 10%  = $5,174,958 TOTAL

$1,724,986 Per Year


version 4.0 – updated 1/23/18