Performance pay primer
It might not be clear from the passionate rants and raves sometimes, but in our humble opinion, performance pay for teachers is a thorny issue, with compelling pros and cons advanced by thoughtful people from a lot of different perspectives and a lot of different points on the political spectrum. So, in the interest of putting as much useful information as we can in front of Gradebook readers, we though this recent Education Week story (registration required) was as good a summation of the trends and tensions behind performance pay as we've seen.
Just to quote a couple graphs: "The surge of interest in such experimentation is bolstered by research findings that some teachers are far more effective than others in raising student achievement. Compensation changes that reward talented teachers so that they stay in the profession, and encourage ineffective ones to improve or leave, potentially could have a large impact on student learning."
"But despite a growing consensus that compensation systems for teachers need to be altered, said Brad Jupp, a senior academic policy adviser to the superintendent of the Denver public schools and one of the creators of the district's performance-based pay plan, "there's no clear consensus about what the best way to pay people, other than the single-salary schedule, is. We're in that period of time after the old paradigm has gone and before the new paradigm has fully evolved."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter