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New to Performance-Based Compensation

Research Syntheses

CECR provides concise responses to key program design and implementation questions using research-based studies and other relevant information.


General Compensation

What effect does teacher compensation have on retention? Does evidence suggest that higher salaries reduce teacher attrition?

Does evidence suggest that some teachers are significantly more effective than others at raising student achievement?

What do we know about the relationship between student achievement and teachers' educational attainment and experience, which is the traditional way that teacher salaries are determined?

What lessons have been learned from the research on personnel compensation in the private sector, and how might these lessons apply to the development of new systems of educator compensation?

Compensation for Teachers of Hard-to-Fill Subjects and Teachers in Hard-to-Staff Schools

Does evidence suggest that some groups of teachers are more sensitive to differences in pay and working conditions than others?

How much would salaries have to increase to attract and retain sufficient numbers of mathematics and science teachers, whose specialized skills and knowledge generally command much higher salaries in the private sector?

Does evidence suggest that additional pay could overcome teacher reluctance to work in hard-to-staff schools? If so, how big would pay increases have to be in order to be effective?

Does evidence suggest that additional compensation alone is sufficient to attract and keep good teachers in high-need schools? If not, what other changes does the research suggest are needed to solve staffing shortages?

Performance Pay

Does evidence suggest that teachers behave differently in schools that reward individual teachers rather than the entire school for gains in student achievement? Are they more competitive and less collaborative, as is commonly believed?

Does evidence suggest that teachers prefer one type of performance-based compensation system over another, such as group-based performance awards or individual performance awards?

What do we know about the relationship between teacher compensation and teacher quality?

What do we know about the conditions under which teachers and principals will support performance pay?

How large do performance incentives need to be in order to be effective?

Does evidence suggest that teachers prefer one type of performance-based compensation system over another, such as group-based performance awards or individual performance awards?

What do we know about the relationship between teacher compensation and teacher quality? Does evidence suggest that higher salaries would attract more highly skilled individuals to the teaching profession?

What factors affect teachers' attitudes and beliefs about performance pay?

Does evidence suggest that teachers prefer some types of performance pay systems more than others? For example, are group-based performance awards that reward teams of teachers or all teachers in a school more likely to motivate teachers than individual awards?

What do we know about the conditions under which teachers and principals will work for performance pay?

How large do performance incentives need to be in order to be effective?

Measurement

How might states and districts that lack value-added measurement systems evaluate teacher and principal performance accurately and fairly?

What do we know about the components needed to build longitudinal data systems to measure the productivity of classrooms, teachers, schools, and principals?

What does the research suggest about ways to structure rewards so that teachers are not penalized for working in low-performing schools?

What does research suggest about ways to measure teacher effectiveness so that determination of performance-based rewards is accurate, reliable, and defensible?

How well do measures of teachers' knowledge and skills predict student achievement outcomes?

How well do principals' evaluations of teachers predict student achievement outcomes?

Building Teacher and Community Support for New Compensation Systems

Why is professional development important? What characteristics define successful professional development programs?

What effect does teacher involvement in the design and implementation of new forms of compensation have on program effectiveness?

How should states and districts structure compensation systems to increase the likelihood that teachers and teachers' unions will support them?

Do surveys indicate that teachers, principals, and the public support new forms of teacher and principal compensation?

What factors affect teachers' perceptions about the fairness of performance-based pay?

How should compensation systems be structured to increase the likelihood that teachers and teachers unions will support them? 156 KB PDF

What effect does teacher involvement in the design and implementation of new forms of compensation have on program effectiveness?