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Published January 17, 2012, 10:29 PM

Hawley Public Schools accepted into Q-Comp System

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) - Teachers with Hawley Public Schools may see a boost in their paychecks next year. But first, they'll have to prove themselves in the classroom. It's all part of a performance pay program through the Minnesota Department of Education.

Teachers with Hawley Public Schools may see a boost in their paychecks next year. But first, they'll have to prove themselves in the classroom. It's all part of a performance pay program through the Minnesota Department of Education.

You typically don't hear the music of U2 in a history class, but social studies teacher Steve Pasche is thinking outside the box to teach his kids.

Steve Pasche – Social Studies Teacher: "Anything you do, try to do it a little bit better and try to integrate new ideas into the curriculum and make it a little more meaningful for the students."

Starting next school year, he'll be paid extra to do just that. Hawley Public Schools learned in September that it was accepted into Minnesota's Q-Comp, a system that rewards high performing teachers.

Jeanne Hanson – Special Education Teacher: "The money part of that is not so great, I think for the most teachers it's about improving what we're doing, leaning those research based practices that can make us better."

The base salary stays the same for Hawley's 53 teachers, but district-wide they'll be able to earn an extra $160,000 in bonuses through high standardized test scores, the use of new, interactive student activities, peer observation and by sharing effective teaching practices.

Jeanne Hanson: “One of our complaints is we don't have time to collaborate. This program gives us that time because it has to be built into the day."

Steve Pasche: "To foster an environment of respect for students and also get the students engaged and involved in what their learning, not just sitting in their desks, but moving around and interacting."

Now some worry about the future of Q-Comp because it is dependent on state funds, but teachers here say even if those funds do dry up, they'll still have the lessons learned through the program.

Steve Pasche: "If the money does go away, we'll have put some things in place as far as teacher mentoring, evaluation, instructional strategies, trying to develop those.

Strategies that'll help students make the grade. Hawley Public Schools must reapply every year to be part of Q-Comp.

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