One of the criticisms that’s most frequently heard of teacher merit pay is: Yes, but how do you design a fair performance pay system in teaching?
My own view is that this isn’t an insurmountable issue. Indeed, plenty of merit pay plans have been implemented, including in private schools, and in the Denver school district thanks to a deal between the government and the unions (as well as in plenty of other professions). In general, you probably want to base performance pay on several different factors, probably including student test score gain, principal assessment, independent classroom observation, and perhaps also including a rating by other teachers (indeed, we discuss some of these issues in Imagining Australia)
From 1-3pm on July 20 (US East Coast time), a discussion by the Harvard Government Innovators’ Network will focus on some of these issues. I suspect most readers won’t be joining in, but a summary will be available afterwards, and the list of readings on teacher pay and teacher quality may be of particular interest.
Lastly, is anyone aware of teacher merit pay plans implemented in Australian private schools? I’d like to learn more about this issue, but I’m not having much success in finding out what goes on.