In Saturday’s Age, I was one ofÂ six people asked to provide fifty words answering the question “Should teachers be paid on the basis of merit or years of service?”. The answers are over the fold.
Branch president, Australian Education Union Victorian
The concern about performance pay schemes is that they don’t make good educational sense. They may import a competitive ethos, but they will not improve the quality of education. The best way to attract and retain the best teachers is to provide an attractive career structure and competitive salaries.
President, Victorian Council of School Organisations
Aside from the fact that there appears to be little if any evidence that performance-based pay for teachers works, how would we work out which teacher is responsible for a student’s performance? What we need to be talking about is not only pay but how to provide teachers with the resources and support needed.
Principal, Methodist Ladies College
Undoubtedly we would wish our more effective teachers to be paid more, but one must consider the complexity of determining this. A measurement based on student results is not the answer. Our challenge is to find a model that provides salaries commensurate with responsibility, complexity and effectiveness.
Chief executive, Association of Independent Schools of Victoria
We need to identify highly qualified teachers, align performance standards and find ways to reward teachers accordingly. But how do we measure merit? It’s not just about exam outcomes. A fair pay system will recognise teachers’ skills based on measurable and objective criteria, taking into account individual merit.
President, Victorian Principals Association
It is generally agreed, and supported by research, that the teacher’s role is multifaceted and does not lend itself to traditional forms of performance assessment. This does not mean that teachers are or should be exempt from performance assessment. The question is whether the system is sufficiently robust.
Economist, Australian National University
Teacher quality matters immensely, and there are big differences between the best and worst teachers. So why not experiment with merit pay schemes, offering six-figure salaries to get the best teachers working in the most disadvantaged schools? Let’s make teaching poor children the most exciting job in Australia.