by Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood & Richard Rothstein Sean Corcoran and Joydeep Roy, eds.
EPI Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems
The Economic Policy Institute Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems is motivated by the need to bring expert analysis to the debate over performance-based pay in America's public schools. A logical starting point is to understand the role of performance compensation and evaluation outside the education sector. This volume includes one of the first systematic analyses of pay-for-performance practices in the private sector, and finds that although periodic "bonus" payments are not uncommon in private firms, formulaic payments based on individual productivity are rare, particularly among professional workers outside of banking and finance.
This volume also reviews a long history of performance accountability systems in the public and private arenas. A series of historical examples highlights numerous instances of goal distortion, gaming, and measure corruption in quantitative performance evaluation systems. As a result, many organizations-including prominent corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonalds-now combine these quantitative indicators with broader, more-subjective measures of quality and service.
This book provides important context and lessons from other industries for the design and implementation of pay-for-performance systems in education at a time when states and school districts show greater interest in rewarding education professionals for narrow indicators of performance.
Scott J. Adams is associate professor of economics and a faculty member in the graduate program in Human Resources and Labor Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
John S. Heywood is distinguished professor of economics and director of the graduate program in Human Resources and Labor Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute.