ERIC Number: ED245297
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Teacher Evaluation and Merit Pay. A Background Paper.
To make merit-pay plans work, a district's teacher-evaluation system must be both summative and formative--evaluating both for teacher outcomes and for progressive improvement. Only peer-mediated self-appraisal systems seem able to meet such a challenge. Fairly rewarded merit-pay plans depend on accurate teacher evaluations. However, teacher evaluation systems suffer from a confusion of purpose, split between those that only reward or punish teachers (summative) and those designed to improve teachers' performances as they teach (formative). There is a need for a unified system. Research shows that attempting to improve teacher performance through a reward-punishment system alone is nearly always unsuccessful. Furthermore, after falsely labeled merit-pay plans are disregarded, there are clearly few real merit plans, and those most often fail because of inadequate evaluation systems. Often, other problems are also evident in such plans; notably, teacher perception of evaluation plans as aversive control, turnover of administrative staff and school board members, and subjectivity in indexing the qualities of good teaching. Peer-mediated self-appraisal is both summative and formative, avoiding the other pitfalls of evaluation: it is summative for beginning teachers, providing a standard competency level based on peer review; it includes formative features at the probationary level; and it provides a formative professional review on a regular basis for senior teachers. (JW)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Evaluation, Formative Evaluation, Merit Pay, Professional Development, Salaries, Summative Evaluation, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Promotion
ECS Distribution Center, Education Commission of the States, 1860 Lincoln Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80295 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. Task Force on Education for Economic Growth.