Professional Pathways for Teachers (PPfT)

Professional Pathways for Teachers

Professional Pathways for Teachers (PPfT) is a Human Capital System that blends four primary components: teacher appraisal, teacher professional learning (PL) opportunities, teacher leadership opportunities, and teacher compensation for Austin ISD teachers. PPfT focuses on building the capacity of our teachers through a comprehensive system of supports and rewards with the ultimate goal of growing students and teachers. For the PPfT Human Capital System, a teacher is defined as directly instructing students 50% or more of the instructional day, whose primary assignment is a teaching assignment.


In December 2013, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees approved district priorities for 2014-2015. As part of those strategic priorities, the administration was given the task to research and develop professional pathways to recruit, develop, evaluate, compensate, and retain high-quality teachers in AISD.

AISD spent years creating, piloting, and reviewing a multi-measure teacher appraisal. From 2007-2015 the REACH Strategic Compensation program provided valuable feedback and data around appraisal components and compensation. The PPfT appraisal system was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 1, 2016, and the PPfT compensation system was approved through a consultation agreement on April 25, 2016.

This work was led by AISD leadership who reviewed recommendations from a working group of teachers, principals, and administrators.


The Professional Pathways for Teachers appraisal is a multi-measure system that covers three areas: instructional practice, professional growth and responsibilities, and student growth. The ultimate goal of the appraisal system is to promote professional growth for all teachers, encourage more frequent, timely, and formative feedback, and incorporate multiple indicators of success including measures of student growth.

The PPfT appraisal:

  • fosters open and collaborative campus cultures that focus on instructional growth, supportive and contextual feedback, and the development of individual and school-wide practices that more effectively improve student learning;
  • incorporates multiple measures of teacher effectiveness including in- and out-of-classroom indicators, student learning growth, teacher self-reflection; and
  • offers professional learning that links to evaluation results.


Compensation for teachers is a top priority for Austin ISD. The old system of board approved raises does not provide teachers with any control over their salary. The Professional Pathways for Teachers Human Capital System creates a new system that professionalizes teaching and empowers teachers with voice and choice over their careers. PPfT puts teachers in control of their professional learning, leadership, and compensation. To access more information on compensation please see the Compensation Overview.


The PPfT Compensation Framework is base-building, which means it adds permanent pay increases to a teacher’s base salary. Teachers will enter the system at their current base salary that is based on their teaching experience to honor their years of experience. This framework does not impact stipends or board approved raises. Teachers will still be able to earn all district approved stipends and raises. 

The framework builds the base through a point system. Teachers will earn professional points each year. Points are cumulative and determine the amount of the base increase. Teachers can earn points from five elements: Service, Appraisal, Professional Development Unit, Leadership Pathways, and Leadership Pathways +3.

Base Salary Increases

As teachers earn points, they will become eligible for base salary increases. PPfT Compensation points are earned at the end of the school year. The base salary increase will be added to the teacher’s salary in the following year. The amount associated with the points is only earned once but the base salary increase is permanent, while staffed in a teaching position in AISD.