How much should teachers be paid? How should their performance be measured? Should pay be linked to performance? Following are some organizations and publications that address these issues. We will continue to add new content, so come back again soon.


An Effective Teacher in Every Classroom
Article | Kati Haycock and Eric Hanushek | Education Next | Vol. 10, No. 3 | Summer 2010
How readily can we identify effective teachers? And, perhaps most crucially, what are promising strategies for seeking to increase the number of effective teachers in high-poverty schools and communities?

Denver ProComp: An Outcomes Evaluation of Denver's Alternative Teacher Compensation System 2010 Report 
Report | Edward Wiley, Eleanor Spindler, Amy Subert | University of Colorado at Boulder | April 2010
Initially piloted in 1999, ProComp layers bonuses onto teacher base salaries for any number of activities and/or accomplishments: raising student achievement, obtaining a master's degree, completing specialized professional development, demonstrating instructional proficiency, working in a high needs school, etc. ... Analysts examined eight years of achievement data (2001-02 to 2008-09) and found that student achievement steadily increased during this timeframe in both math and reading.
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Amber Winkler | Education Gadfly | Volume 10, Number 23 | June 17, 2010

Opportunity at the Top: How America's Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great
Report | Bryan C. Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel | Public Impact | June 2010
What if we could close the achievement gap in five years? The Hassels think it can be done and in this paper they explain how. It builds upon their earlier report, 3X For All, which explained how we could take better advantage of the 800,000 or so most effective teachers by extending their reach (number of children served) and touch (direct interaction with students). But while that one explained how to do that—mostly through expanded use of technology—this report explains what would happen if we did. 
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Jessica Klein | Education Gadfly | Volume 10, Number 22 | June 10, 2010


Teaching as leadership
Book Review | Jamie Davies O'Leary | Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Education Gadfly | Volume 10, Number 9 | March 4, 2010
In its new book, Teaching as Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap, authored by TFA’s vice president for knowledge development and public engagement Steven Farr, TFA has captured two decades worth of findings on 17,000 teachers to answer this simple question: What distinguishes an all-star teacher from the rest?



Redesigning Teacher Pay: A System for the Next Generation of Educators
Report | Susan Moore Johnson and John P. Papay | Economic Policy Institute | 2009
This publication is really two reports in one: a new framework for understanding various existing pay-for-performance schemes and a proposal for a new system of performance-based pay. According to authors Johnson and Papay, there are three crucial differences between merit pay systems: how merit is assessed (by in-person evaluations, student test scores, or a combination of both), whether merit is judged against an objective standard or relative to other teachers, and whether merit is rewarded at the individual or school level. Then, in the second half, Johnson and Papay outline their own vision for teacher-pay reform: the "Tiered Pay-and-Career Structure." Featuring four levels, this is intended to be a way for school districts to use "performance-based pay as part of a well conceived human capital strategy for developing teachers through all stages of their career" instead of "simply [appending] new components to [the] current compensation system."
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Education Gadfly | Volume 9, Number 38 | October 29, 2009 | Jack Byers

Teacher Preparation: Reforming the Uncertain Profession
Speech | U.S. Ed Secretary Arne Duncan | Columbia University Teachers College | October 22, 2009
"By almost any standard, many if not most of the nation's 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st century classroom. America's university-based teacher preparation programs need revolutionary change—not evolutionary tinkering."

Effective Teachers Found to Improve Peers' Performance
Article | Debra Viadero | Education Week | September 14, 2009
Teachers raise their games when the quality of their colleagues improves, according to a new study offering some of the first evidence to document a “spillover effect” in teaching.

Alternative Certification Programs: Meeting the Demand for Effective Teachers
Brief Analysis | Rebecca Garcia, Jessica Huseman | National Center for Policy Analysis | September 1, 2009
Growing public school enrollment, an increase in the number of teachers retiring or leaving the profession and legislated limits on class size have made finding competent educators a growing challenge. In recent years, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have established alternative certification programs to help meet this challenge. But have these programs been successful?

A Grand Bargain for Education Reform: New Rewards and Supports for New Accountability
Report | Theodore Hershberg, Claire Robertson-Kraft | Harvard Education Press | August 2009
If education policy debates about merit pay and teacher salary schedules still feel like ideological trench warfare, this book is the WWI Mark I tank breakthrough for reform. Aggressively forward-thinking and stoutly teacher-focused, it spells out a cohesive reform framework for school personnel policies, covering the gamut of topics from compensation to professional development to effective use of diagnostic testing. Specifically, it focuses on school-directed and individual-directed merit pay, value-added “growth testing,” and promotion based on effectiveness and leadership, not seniority or degree-collecting. While none of these is a new development, the authors--including some of the self-same educators that have pioneered their usage--make them more digestible. It’s doubtful there’s anybody better to write a chapter entitled “Professional Unionism” than Brad Jupp, the veteran Denver teacher who negotiated on behalf of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association for the ProComp merit pay contract. Similarly, educators are far more likely to listen to former principal Joel Giffin--who describes creative value-added test data usage at his top-performing Tennessee school--than to the brains who generate tests and analyze their results from afar. And getting reacquainted with these ideas through veteran eyes is an experience any serious education reformer should have. Test ride the tank for a fee here.
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Education Gadfly | Volume 9, Number 30 | August 27, 2009 | by Mickey Muldoon

The Tradeoff Between Teacher Wages and Layoffs to Meet Budget Cuts
Report | Marguerite Roza | Center on Reinventing Public Education | July 2009
School districts faced with large budget gaps could avoid some or all teacher layoffs by rolling back salaries. While this option may not work for all districts, a new analysis shows that district officials--and teachers unions--could both serve students and teachers by trimming classroom pay.

A Teachers’ Contract for a New Era
Article | Sol Stern | City Journal | July 2009
Seven achievable reforms for better schools.


Effects of Teachers' Unions on Qualification-Specific and Incentive-Based Teacher Compensation
Study | Kristine Lamm West and Elton Mykerezi | University of Minnesota, Twin Cities | March 2009
The study found that the frequency of any type of performance pay scheme is the same for unionized (29 percent) and non-unionized (28 percent) districts. The incidence of output based performance schemes (those with at least one indicator based on student outcomes), however, is significantly lower in unionized (16 percent) than non-unionized (25 percent) districts. In fact, unionization of a district decreases the probability of a pay plan that rewards student outcomes by 81 percentage points. That number increases to 84 percentage points when the pay plan is based exclusively on student outcomes. The authors also discover that benefits (defined by SASS as district contributions to Social Security and other taxes, medical, dental, unemployment etc.) typically make up 25 percent of total salary and that states with strong cultures of unionization amongst all professions are more likely to have teachers' unions.
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Education Gadfly | Volume 9, Number 12 | April 9, 2009 | By Stafford Palmieri

National Study Finds Alternatively Certified Teachers Just as Effective as Those Traditionally Certified
Study | Various Authors | Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. | February 2009
Mathematica’s random assignment study of alternative routes to teacher certification tracked 2,600 students in 63 schools in 20 medium and large school districts in 7 states during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years. A new report notes that there was no statistically significant difference in reading or math achievement for students placed in a classroom with traditionally or alternatively certified teachers.

Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Exacerbate Job Loss in Public Education
Report | Marguerite Roza | Center on Reinventing Public Education | February 2009
K-12 school districts that lay off personnel according to seniority cause disproportionate damage to their programs and students than if layoffs were determined on a seniority-neutral basis.


The Widget Effect
Report | Daniel Weisberg, Susan Sexton, Jennifer Mulhern, David Keeling | The New Teacher Project | 2009
Effective teachers are the key to student success. Yet our school systems treat all teachers as interchangeable parts, not professionals. Excellence goes unrecognized and poor performance goes unaddressed. This indifference to performance disrespects teachers and gambles with students’ lives.

The Benwood Plan: A Lesson in Comprehensive Teacher Reform
Report | Elena Silva | Education Sector | April 7, 2008
Chattanooga's Benwood Initiative is one of the most widely touted school-reform success stories of recent years. And many credit its success to financial incentives used to lure new teachers to low-performing schools. In this report, Senior Policy Analyst Elena Silva argues that Benwood's success was not just about attracting new talent, but helping existing teachers improve the quality of their instruction.

Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job
Study | Robert Gordon, Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger | The Brookings Institution | April 2006
Traditionally, policymakers have attempted to improve the quality of the teaching force by raising minimum credentials for entering teachers. Recent research, however, suggests that such paper qualifications have little predictive power in identifying effective teachers. This study proposes federal support to help states measure the effectiveness of individual teachers -- based on their impact on student achievement, subjective evaluations by principals and peers, and parental evaluations.




Educator Compensation Institute
The Educator Compensation Institute understands that the skills, knowledge, and methods of education employees are significant factors in determining student success and school district effectiveness, but much more empirical and qualitative research is needed to identify the different variables and dynamics impacting this correlation. The educators, administrators, advocates, researchers, and support professionals who staff the Institute are committed to exploring and analyzing education employee compensation systems, workplace environments, and other pedagogical factors that affect student learning and school effectiveness.

Northwest Professional Educators
Northwest Professional Educators provides career protection, caring support, and helpful services for academic professionals.