Thursday, April 12, 2007

Paying Teachers the Right Way

The Center for Teaching Quality has released a detailed recommendation for reforming teacher pay, Performance Pay for Teachers. I think they are on the right track.

The authors of the report are 18 teachers from across the country with amazing credentials. They recommend a base pay system with three tiers – novice, professional and expert. Teachers who show above average performance in increasing student performance or leadership within their school would receive additional compensation. There are also incentives for qualified teachers choosing high-need, low-performing schools.

The report recommends measuring student performance through a combination of standardized tests and classroom assessments. It also focuses attention on the growth of students during the school year, not just their performance level at the end of the year like NCLB. I believe this would encourage teachers to help all students, not just those marginally below the grade level standard.

They also addressed my other pet peeve of educational compensation - seniority pay. They argue that teachers should be rewarded for demonstrating leadership not just seniority. Absolutely!

In a time when most of the rhetoric about education and performance measurement systems is focused on what is not working, this report has a refreshingly positive focus. I hope my state of North Carolina, where the Center for Teacher Quality is based, will adopt a teacher compensation system of this type.

1 comment:

Nancy Flanagan said...

Thanks for reading and linking the TeacherSolutions "Performance-Pay for Teachers" report. I think this report has "legs" and will generate a lot of important conversations. (Full disclosure: I was on the TeacherSolutions team, with Bill Ferriter.)

I was especially interested in your comments on seniority. Here's another TLN blog on this very topic: