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ERIC Number: EJ876151
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Reforming Teacher Pay
Burns, Susan Freeman; Gardner, Catherine D.
School Administrator, v67 n3 p15-20 Mar 2010
A recent Google search for information regarding performance pay in education produced 6.1 million results. This number should come as no surprise given the current level of interest in incentives as a popular reform option in public education. Supporters believe pay-for-performance programs encourage less effective teachers to improve and will reduce teacher turnover. However, clear challenges exist. Most notable is the difficulty of monitoring teacher performance. Critics also contend that individual performance awards may negatively affect the collaboration among professionals that is essential to teaching, particularly if the award structure sets up teachers competing against one another for bonuses. Despite the relatively thin knowledge base around the design, implementation and operation of performance pay in education, a few key ideas are emerging as school districts put in place pay-for-performance plans and researchers evaluate those efforts. This article discusses six key elements that emerge from research around performance pay: (1) the importance of nesting a performance pay program in a district's larger reform agenda and aligning it to key district priorities; (2) the need for effective communication about all aspects of the initiative; (3) the need for stakeholder involvement; (4) the need for stable funding streams and meaningful awards; (5) the importance of multiple, well-defined performance measures; and (6) the importance of well-managed and well-maintained data systems.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A