A major issue among educators and administrators alike is performance-based pay. Some argue that it incentivizes teachers to improve while also punishing bad teachers. Other professions, like law and medicine, pay people according to performance, so why not education? Others say that these incentives are skewed and will result in teachers trying to game the system or teach to the test. Besides, these opponents say, how can you judge performance in an objective way that can justify who gets a bonus or a pay raise and who doesn’t? School systems across the world are grappling with just this question.
Unfortunately, research on the subject has yet to reach any solid conclusions. Studies vary and each educational context has its own unique set of challenges. School systems vary in their approach to performance-based pay. While some require an application from each teacher requesting a raise, other systems evaluate each school on its performance and disperse funds to the schools that have made the most progress on a range of metrics. The debate surely won’t stop here, but more data and more studies will surface as schools throughout the United States, the UK and other countries roll out such programs.