This is for the good, despite all their problems DC’s public schools have remained pretty hidebound. Speaking more broadly, little teacher pay pilots like this are springing up more and more. It’s a typical response to pressure for change: Make a small change at the margins, incorporate the reform, move on. The risk is that rather than be the beginning of broader changes, these small pilots become Potemkin PR tools to argue that “this is being done, nothing to see here” and media and political elites go for that in education a lot and do move on. It’s one reason the “system” is so resilient. Almost everything is being done somewhere, but some things need to happen almost everywhere.