Merit-pay programs for teachers appear to improve their performance, and models should be developed that reward teachers for raising student achievement, a study suggests.
Michael J. Podgursky, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Matthew G. Springer, an assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., scrutinized previously published studies that evaluated the effectiveness of school district and state-sponsored merit-pay systems in the United States, as well as programs in Africa, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
The researchers call on districts to emulate private-sector employers who “understand that strategic pay policies are a very important lever in raising firm performance.” The study does not recommend any one model for teacher merit pay. Instead, it says, districts should arrive at what works for them by experimenting with flexible systems.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week