The Measure of Success

November 08, 2005 1 min read

Denver voters recently endorsed a new teacher pay plan that will reward teachers for student learning gains — instead of for their number of years in the classroom.

Under the new ProComp plan, teachers will be rewarded based on improved test scores and also for choosing to teach in schools and fields where they are needed most. Traditionally, teachers have been paid based on other factors like years of experience and college credits.

While some people see the advent of incentive pay as a long-overdue improvement, others are concerned that such a plan will be difficult to implement and unfair to teachers who may be limited by their specific assignments, and will encourage teachers to “teach to tests.”

In a country that so highly esteems merit-based systems, is it only fair to reward teachers for results rather than time spent? How should we determine teacher salaries?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.