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True Pay-For-Performance Is Vital To School Reform: What Kids Learn Must Drive What Teachers Make

IP-13-1992 (December 1992)
Author: John Kaufman

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Executive Summary

  • Teacher effectiveness is becoming a focal point of public dissatisfaction with the education system.
  • Evaluation of teachers is seldom linked to their salaries, and merit pay when attempted usually fails because criteria are too subjective.
  • Raises should be tied to what a given class learns in a given year, above an agreed baseline, adjusted for student aptitude.
  • A district testing specialist would give fall tests for the baseline and spring tests to measure progress, blind from the teacher.
  • Salary adjustments, up or down, would be figured from a board-approved table of pro progress/aptitude variables for a composite of all the teachers classes.
  • Performance raises would then become the only kind given, since longevity arid graduate study are not in themselves relevant to school productivity.