A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay: Encouraging and Rewarding Schoolwide Improvement

A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay: Encouraging and Rewarding Schoolwide Improvement


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Reward your best teachers for the great work they do!

Is your school system considering teacher merit pay? Now is the time to know the potential pitfalls and learn from the experiences of other districts. Respected experts Ritter and Barnett provide a step-by-step approach to merit pay that draws on best practices from effective, successful programs. You’ll find:

  • A user-friendly summary of existing merit pay programs and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Six essential principles for designing a program that supports teacher professional development, schoolwide progress, and student achievement
  • How-to’s and tools for every phase of program development, including collaborating with teachers to create balanced assessment tools

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452255514
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 05/09/2013
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. Introduction: Merit Pay as Educational Fad or Genuine Solution
What Is Merit Pay?
Why the Interest in Merit Pay?
What’s Wrong with the Current Salary System?
How Might Merit Pay Help?
Why is Merit Pay So Complicated?
2. Why Is Merit Pay Gaining Momentum? A Brief History
3. What Can a Merit Plan Do for Your Teachers and Students?
Evidence on Merit Pay
Studies on Teacher Attitudes
Studies on Student Achievement
Summary of Evidence
4. The Top 12 Criticisms of Merit Pay
1. Merit Pay Discourages Teaching Disadvantaged Students
2. Merit Pay Encourages Teaching to the Test
3. What About Teachers of Nontested Subjects?
4. Merit Pay Assumes Teachers Teach for the Money; They Don't!
5. Teacher Merit Is Just Too Hard to Measure
6. Merit Pay Ratings Are Based on a Secret Formula
7. Teachers Are Already Working as Hard as They Can
8. Merit Pay Bonuses Are Too Small to Matter
9. How Is Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Supposed to Improve Instruction?
10. Merit Pay Encourages Counterproductive Competition and Discourages Collegiality
11. States Can't Afford Merit Pay During Times of Fiscal Austerity
12. Merit Pay Is an Unproven Reform
5. Guiding Principles and Pesky Questions
Guiding Principles for Designing and Implementing a Merit Pay Plan
Principle 1: The Evaluation System Must Be Clear and Understandable
Principle 2: Consistent Communication Is Critical
Principle 3: Evaluations Should Be Based on Multiple and Thoughtful Measures of Effectiveness
Principle 4: Plans Should Actively Encourage Collaboration and Discourage Counterproductive Competition
Principle 5: Merit Pay Plans Should Be Part of a Comprehensive School Improvement Strategy
Principle 6: Merit Pay Bonuses Should Be Substantial and Meaningful
Pesky Questions
Identifying Program Participants
Measuring Teacher Effectiveness
Ratings and Rewards
6. Timelines for Program Development and Implementation
Program Implementation Timeline
Step 1: Mulling It Over
Step 2: Organizing a Merit Pay Exploratory Committee
Step 3: First Meeting With the Exploratory Committee
Step 4: Introducing the Concept to the Full School Community
Step 5: Details, Details, Details
Step 6: Finalizing and Ratifying the Plan, or "Rocking the Vote "
Step 7: Getting Ready to Roll Out the Plan
Step 8: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Step 9: Checking In
Step 10: Show Me the Money
7. RAMP: Ramping Up Teacher Pay in Your School
RAMP: General Overview
RAMP: Details
Supervisor Evaluation
Schoolwide Student Achievement
Individual Classroom Achievement
Translating the Ratings Into Dollars
8. Conclusions
Finding Funding
Expectations for Your Program
Appendix A: Sample Teacher Survey
Appendix B: Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) Teacher Survey
Appendix C: Sample Report Card
RAMP: Applying the Principles

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