Should Teachers Be Paid For Performance? Is It In The Interests Of Better Education?

Some school boards are looking to introduce pay for performance bonus systems for teachers, while others have already done so. On the surface of it, it makes some common sense that better teachers should receive compensation for being better teachers, but in fact, it's a much more complex issue than it might seem to be on the surface.

There are a lot of practical issues about how to administer these systems in a fair, objective way, but there's also another central issue which has to do with whether paying "better teachers" more will actually improve the school system. There's research that suggests it doesn't work, and I've explained one of the reasons why pay for performance doesn't address the causes of school problems.

Still it's important to understand the arguments on both sides, so below are collected some of the better articles, research studies, and opinion pieces on this important topic.

One note: As you read these remember that often the writers and researchers can have biases from the start. For example, it's not surprising that the NEA, or other teachers' unions are against pay for performance for teachers, since unions never support such schemes regardless of industry. Similarly, there are political biases, Democrat vs Republican, Left vs. Right and so on. It's good to keep that in mind because even research can be contaminated by bias, even unintentionally.

Top : Pay For Performance For Teachers :

School districts are looking at, or have started implementing a pay for performance system for teachers, where they are trying to reward "better teachers". It's a very hard system to make work, so we're going to explore the good, bad and ugly of merit pay for teachers through articles, research and

Research, Opinions, Articles On Pay For Performance For Teachers: Pay For Performance For Teachers

Colorado Experience: teacher evaluations reform leading performance pay reforms - by Yesenia Robles
An account of the attempts by three of the largest school boards in the state of Colorado to introduce merit pay for teachers, and the road has been bumpy. (Views So Far 267 )

Does Increasing Teacher Salaries Yield More Learning? - by PAMELA BROOKE
Not so much about merit pay for teachers but about the relationship between teacher pay and learning. Some great infographics here, since the author looks at how countries that lead the USA in learning outcomes, also pay their teachers at a higher level than the USA. (Views So Far 293 )

Education Week: TAP: More Than Performance Pay - by Stephen Sawchuk
TAP (Teacher Advancement Programs) includes a pay for performance component for teachers, but also involves teachers in setting the thresholds for defining what is effective teaching. Excerpt: In general, educators who work in one of the 219 schools that use TAP don't have any problem discussing that element. Yes, they will confirm, the bonus pay is partly based on test scores. But then they will gently remind you that TAP, begun by businessman Lowell Milken in 2000, has several components, all of which work together to improve teacher effectiveness. (Views So Far 346 )

Four Part Series: Pay for Performance: What Are the Issues? - by Ellen R. Delisio
First part of a four part series examining the controversial issue of paying for performance. Includes a discussion of problems and challenges, and four alternate models for merit pay. (Views So Far 262 )

Little Connection Between Teacher Pay and Performance (Value Added Measures Of Teacher Effectiveness - by NPR
NPR's article on pay for performance, relationship between pay and teacher performance, credentialism and a lot more. Read the entire thing through, because there's lots of meat here. (Views So Far 354 )

Merit Pay and High-Performing Nations. Does Pay For Performance Work? - by NEA
In February, Education Next released a report that seemed to credit performance pay with the success of countries who ranked high on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment survey (PISA). Merit pay proponents hailed the study as proof positive that these measures are necessary if the United States is to improve student achievement. Case closed. Not so fast, according to the National Education Policy Center (NPEC). The Education Next report, called "Cross Country Evidence on Teacher Performance Pay" and written by Ludger Woessmann of the University of Munich, went unchallenged in the media until the NPEC published an analysis of the findings and concluded that the report was based on "unreliable and invalid" data and made too many broad assumptions to be useful as a policymaking guide. (Views So Far 300 )