book (perfect bound), 80 pages, 6" x 9" (paper), 2009
EPI Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems No. 2
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. Redesigning Teacher Pay—the second volume in our series—provides a simple framework for designing and evaluating performance pay plans for teachers. Using this framework, authors Susan Moore Johnson and John P. Papay propose a simple, yet powerful plan for reforming compensation for the next generation of teachers.
Design is critical to the success of any pay system. But local context and implementation are equally important. Complementing its theoretical analysis, this volume offers four case studies of performance pay in action, from Houston, Minneapolis, Charlotte, and Hillsborough County, Florida. These districts have been at the forefront of teacher pay reform, and their strategies are as different as they are alike. Notably, none rely on a single test-score based measure of performance.
Johnson and Papay’s proposal, dubbed the “Tiered Pay-and-Career Structure,” is an integrated strategy for developing human capital in teaching. Their plan, designed to attract strong candidates, develop instructional skills, and to provide higher pay and career opportunities to those who perform well, will fundamentally change how districts recruit, assess, compensate, and develop teachers.
Susan Moore Johnson is the Pforzheimer Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as the academic dean from 1993 to 1999. As director of the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, Johnson studies teachers’ work and careers. She has published her research in books and journals, including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Educational Research Journal, and Teachers College Record. Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Education.
John P. Papay is an advanced doctoral student in the Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education concentration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research assistant with the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers. A former high school history teacher, his research interests include teacher policy, the effects of educational policies, teacher labor markets, and teachers unions.