Technical Assistance Toolbox: Tools to Support Systemic Change Along the Educator Career Continuum

Techical Assistance Toolbox Preparation

Compensation Overview

Preparation Recruitment, Hiring, & Retention Mentoring & Induction Professional Development Compensation Evaluation Leadership Home

Districts and States can use teacher compensation as one way to reward effective teachers and leaders. Performance-based compensation programs, when working in collaboration with other reforms along the career continuum, can impact educator recruitment, retention, evaluation and professional development systems to help improve both teacher performance and student outcomes. Implementing performance-based compensation systems requires the strategic coordination of several components, including:

  • Be supported by quality data systems.
  • Be designed with key stakeholder buy-in.
  • Use multiple measures of effectiveness.
  • Use vaild and reliable measures of teacher or leader and student performance.
  • Impact teacher and leader professional development.
  • Be fiscally and programmatically sustainable.

Tips & Tools Key Issues

The following Key Issue includes a discussion of several strategies related to creating a diversified pay structure that rewards quality performance:

The following Key Issues about recruitment also consider various financially based incentives as key strategies to recruit and retain teachers:

External Resources

The Center for Educator Compensation Reform (CECR) is a federally funded technical assistance center, as well as a national repository for research and tools designed to help districts and states implement performance-based compensation systems. The following are some of the resources available on the CECR website:

  • Implementation information for school systems new to performance-based compensation

  • Research and strategies to support the six components of performance-based compensation: data quality and data systems, strategies to support workforce, communication and stakeholder engagement, value-added and other measures, program evaluation, and sustainability

  • News and publications about current performance-based compensation programs to provide a national perspective on compensation reform

The Need:

States and districts wanted to understand what the research says about how performance-based compensation can be used to affect educator effectiveness and student outcomes.

Our Response:

In 2007, the TQ Center hosted a webcast about performance-based compensation: Paying for Teachers' Performance—Strategies and Conditions for Success. This webcast examined the policy, research, and practice of performance-based compensation, specifically focusing on valid, reliable, and ethical ways to evaluate teacher performance. Experts discussed the promise and pitfalls of value-added and other statistical measures of student achievement growth as well as teaching portfolios and professional administrator evaluations.

In preparation for the live, interactive webcast, the TQ Center invited participants to view online presentations that provide different perspectives regarding the current issue and/or problems associated with pay-for-performance. In addition, the TQ Center provided links to Research, Policy, and Practice resources.

The Need:

The Southwest Comprehensive Center and Utah State Board of Education approached the TQ Center for information, resources, and expertise to support a statewide committee to examine the possibility of a new statewide alternative compensation program.

Our Response:

The TQ Center sent representatives to give in-depth presentations to the committee and provided committee members with essential readings related to performance-based compensation. The first two presentations provided an overview of current models of alternative compensation, as well as lessons learned from implementation. The third presentation focused on measures of teacher effectiveness and teacher performance assessment models. A fourth presentation looked at student achievement data and links to performance-based compensation.

The Need:

Early into its tenure, the TQ Center recognized the need to provide expert answers to a variety of requests for information about a number of topics, including teacher compensation.

Our Response:

The TQ Center provided responses to requests for information regarding performance-based compensation, including links to the most recent resources available to school systems considering implementing similar programs.

The GTL Center supports Regional Comprehensive Centers (RRCs) through explicit technical assistance efforts; in addition, the GTL Center can provide assistance in Compensation by:

  • Connecting RCCs and state education agencies (SEAs) with the relevant resources and content area experts needed to design and implement performance-based compensation systems, including planning tools and examples of current strategies to address compensation reform.

  • Giving presentations to stakeholder groups about components of performance-based compensation programs.

  • Continuing to provide expertise related to specific measures of teacher effectiveness, including educator evaluation and student growth measures, that can be used to design performance-based compensation systems.

Learn more about how Compensation affects Recruitment, Hiring, & Placement; Professional Development; and Evaluation.

Techical Assistance Toolbox Professional Development Recruitment, Hiring, & Placement Professional Development Evaluation

Compensation affects several components of the educator career continuum, including recruitment, hiring, and placement efforts; professional development; and educator evaluation.

Performance-based compensation programs should be based on valid and reliable measures of teacher and leader performance, which may be linked to a high-quality district or state educator evaluation system. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports evaluation activities.

The evaluation and compensation systems should be linked to teacher or leader professional development. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports professional activities.

New compensation systems might impact a district's or state's ability to recruit and retain effective teachers and leaders. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports recruitment, hiring, and placement activities.

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