TAP's Elements Multiple Career Paths Ongoing Applied Professional Growth Instructionally Focused Accountability Performance-Based Compensation Bibliography TAP Outcomes Legislation Understanding Value-Added Teacher Quality Resources The Working Group on Teacher Quality
Historically teachers have been paid based on a salary schedule that rewards years of experience and credits earned. Yet in the private sector, performance-based compensation has been the norm since the 1980s, when pay incentives began to be linked to individual performance levels (Malanga, 2001). TAPís performance-based compensation system incorporates findings from the private sector and research on teacher quality and effectiveness to provide teachers with a mechanism to reward them not only for their classroom performance but also for the academic outcomes of their students.
The research includes the following:
- The work of Greenwald, Hedges & Lane (1996) and Hanushek (1989) show that neither a teacher's years of experience nor an advanced degree can predict increased student achievement.
- Research proves that performance award programs are successful when they are integrated with strong school leadership, professional development, reliable analyses of student performance and strong feedback (Odden & Kelley, 1996; Odden, 2000).
- By the mid-1990s, half of all major American corporations used some sort of pay incentive program to encourage productivity, increase compensation and improve employee quality. The exceptional growth in U.S. productivity in the 1990s has been linked to the establishment and proliferation of performance pay in the private sector (Malanga, 2001).
- The research also indicates the following:
- Incentives help cause teachers and principals to focus their efforts on improving student achievement.
- Teachers view setting performance improvement targets as a legitimate way to manage schools.
- If given adequate support, teachers believe they can improve student performance to meet the goals.
- Researchers in Tennessee, Texas and Arizona have developed statistical models that fairly measure and account for teacher effects on student achievement (Jordan et al., 1997; Rivkin et al., 2001; Sanders & Horn, 1998; Thum, 2003).
- According to Odden and Clune (1995), qualitative data from Kentucky, North Carolina and Maryland suggests that school-wide performance evaluations encourage teachers by creating conditions that focus teacher efforts on professional collaboration, student performance and alignment of school resources.
Sarah Acorn, Middle School Humanities Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus, Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Having mentor and master teachers is the most beneficial element of TAP. One huge bonus I've seen as a teacher is automatically having someone I know I can go to when I struggle with getting kids to learn a concept or behavior in the classroom . . ."