Incentive-Based Pay for Teachers

9 years 4 months 2 weeks ago September 08, 2007 Sep 8, 2007 Saturday, September 08 2007 Saturday, September 08, 2007 8:45:56 AM CDT in News
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Michael Podgursky, an economics professor at the University of Missouri, is co-authoring a study about incentive-based pay. He says the idea of pay based on student achievement is gaining notice in the education community.

"There's a feeling in many- in some education circles that this is a way that we can help improve school performance and help retain better teachers and administrators by awarding those who are more effective," he says. "This has led to some experiments to provide incentives for school that perform better and groups of teachers or individual teachers that perform better."

Within the past year, the United States Congress has allocated half a billion dollars to start a teacher incentive fund. Districts will get to pull from that fund based on their gain scores, which are shown through incentive based experiments all across the country. Still, many educators have questions about the system.

"How will you define performance?" asks Stan Ingraham, Superintendent of the Sturgeon R-V School District. "Would it be by a student's improvements and achievements...Or would it be as a class as a whole being looked at as far as improving?"

Even with some opposition, researchers agree the status quo needs to be shaken up a bit, which could improve the general welfare of children across the state.

The study on incentive-based pay, titled "Teacher Performance Pay: A Review," is slated to be published in this month's issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

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