NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED541221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Strategic Design of Teacher Compensation
Shields, Regis
Education Resource Strategies
Spurred by the national focus on revitalizing the teacher evaluation and support/development process, as well as the current economic downturn, many school districts are reviewing how teachers are compensated. While a few courageous districts have completely upended current structures, most districts are undertaking changes that leave the most prevalent structure--experience steps and educational attainment lanes--untouched, with modest tweaks at the margin to recognize performance and contribution. As districts consider new compensation structures, they are moving into mostly uncharted territory. The majority of the school systems across the country implement the basic elements of the step-and-lane compensation structure that treats all teachers the same, regardless of performance or responsibility. As a result, there are few proof points that districts can draw from as they undertake a design process to link teacher compensation with performance and contribution. In the current wave of compensation reform, one school district--Denver, Colorado--has had a comprehensive structure in place for a sufficient length of time to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of specific performance and contribution components. In addition, there are a handful of formal evaluations on the various performance bonus structures that school districts and states have put into place over the last 10 years. School districts can also draw from lessons learned in other professions, both private and public sector. Finally, they can look abroad to practices of high-performing education systems in other nations, as well as emerging and established research on employee motivation for the marketplace in general and for the teaching profession. The series of guidance memos presented in this paper are intended to provide teachers, districts, Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), and states with a starting point on this journey of reinvention. They provide a high-level summary of how the salary component of a teacher-compensation structure can integrate performance and contribution. This paper focuses on the salary component for two reasons. First, it represents the largest share of teacher compensation both from the perspective of the employer and the employee. Second, it is the primary--and, unfortunately, usually the sole--focus of nearly all districts currently contemplating compensation reform. A compensation glossary is included. (Contains 58 endnotes.
Education Resource Strategies. 480 Pleasant Street Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472. Tel: 617-607-8000; Fax: 617-600-6613; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Resource Strategies
Identifiers - Location: Colorado