Advancing up the LIFT Ladder
Your advancement up the LIFT ladder is determined by your annual IMPACT rating. Once you’ve entered a particular stage, you will remain there until you earn the requisite Effective and/or Highly Effective ratings to progress to the next stage. You cannot move backwards along the ladder; you can only advance.
Please note that Developing and Minimally Effective ratings do not contribute to your advancement up the ladder.
Note: Beginning in the 2012–2013 school year, an Effective IMPACT rating will be defined as a score between 300 and 349.
- Individuals at the Teacher stage who earn two consecutive Effective ratings or one Highly Effective rating will advance to the Established Teacher stage.
- Established Teachers who earn two consecutive Effective ratings or one Highly Effective rating will advance to the Advanced Teacher stage.
- Advanced Teachers who earn two consecutive Highly Effective ratings will advance to the Distinguished Teacher stage.
- Distinguished Teachers who earn two consecutive Highly Effective ratings will advance to the Expert Teacher stage.
Do I need to earn these ratings consecutively in order to advance up the LIFT ladder?
Yes. In cases in which two ratings are required to advance to the next LIFT stage, those ratings must be earned in two consecutive years. For example, a teacher at the Established Teacher stage will either need to earn one Highly Effective rating or two Effective ratings in a row in order to advance to the Advanced Teacher stage. Similarly, teachers at the Advanced and Distinguished Teacher stages need to earn two Highly Effective ratings in a row to advance on the LIFT ladder.
How do my prior IMPACT ratings count towards my advancement up the LIFT ladder?
As described on page 12, all returning teachers will be placed in a LIFT stage at the start of the 2012–2013 school year. Moving forward, you will need to earn the requisite ratings outlined on page 10 in order to advance to the next LIFT stage. After your initial placement on the LIFT ladder, your 2012–2013 rating will be the first to count towards your advancement to the next LIFT stage. For example, let’s consider a teacher who is placed at the Established Teacher stage at the beginning of the 2012–2013 school year, and who earns an Effective rating at the end of that same school year. During the 2013–2014 school year, this teacher will either need to earn an Effective rating or a Highly Effective rating to advance to the Advanced Teacher stage.
Why do teachers need to earn Highly Effective ratings to reach the Distinguished and Expert Teacher stages?
Teachers who reach the Distinguished and Expert Teacher stages are eligible for significant benefits, including dramatically reduced IMPACT observations and considerable base salary increases. Therefore, these stages are reserved for the highest-performing teachers in the district. Teachers who consistently earn Effective ratings also deserve meaningful recognition for their performance and experience. With LIFT, a teacher who earns four years of Effective ratings will move into the Advanced Teacher stage and become eligible for reduced IMPACT observations, a base salary increase, and a wide array of leadership opportunities.