Would changing the way we pay teachers change teaching? The Christian Science Monitor looks at Denver’s experiment with performance pay.
Taylor Betz will make a lot more as a high school math teacher this year than her normal salary might suggest.
There’s the $2,300 bonus she gets for working at a “hard-to-serve school,” the $2,300 for filling a “hard-to-staff position,” the $2,300 that all teachers at her school are likely to get for raising student scores on state tests, the $2,300 “beating the odds” bonus she gets for significantly raising the math scores of her own students, and a few smaller bonuses.
Rookie teachers want their pay linked to results, reports NPR, looking at D.C.’s younger teacher corps. Experienced teachers tend to be dubious.
Update: Speaking to the National Science Teachers Association, Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for differential pay.
“We need to respond to the market by paying more to teachers in high-need subjects like science and math,” Duncan told the audience. “I’m a big believer in differential pay. I want to reward excellence by paying teachers and principals who do a great job in the classroom.
“I want to reward them for going into struggling school districts,” he continued. “That’s where the challenge is. If you’re going to take on a tough job, you should be rewarded.”
Differential pay is much easier to implement than performance pay.