Creating a Successful Performance Compensation System for Educators

Christina Hentges

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
July 2007

This report from the Working Group on Teacher Quality, whose participants include the National Council on Teacher Quality, the Center for American Progress, and the New Teacher Project, among others, is based on the assumption that it's easier to do merit pay wrong than right. (See Houston, for example.) Hence, it suggests design features and implementation tactics for pay-for-performance plans that will stand the test of time. The survey covers all the key questions, such as how to evaluate teachers (its advice: expand the criteria beyond student test scores) and how to ensure unbiased reporting (train teacher "raters" and sponsor multiple evaluations). The report's most useful portions are the appendices, which draw lessons from successful state and district initiatives such as Minnesota's Q-Comp plan and Denver's Pro-Comp (which effectively garnered teacher buy-in). The paper would benefit from enhanced study of these initiatives, but it's still a useful resource for states and districts now getting into merit pay for the first time. Check it out here.

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