Performance Pay Is Coming

By Douglas B. Reeves

The contradiction in public policy discussions over “pay for performance” in education is striking. While the federal government has wagered billions of dollars that pay for performance for teachers will lead to improved student results, a chorus of researchers and policy analysts claims that merit pay, as it has traditionally been practiced, is ineffective and counterproductive.

What should school leaders and educational policymakers do? Ellen V. Christo, who chairs the Hampton Falls, N.H., school board and is a practicing attorney, helped me develop this article, which offers five practical ideas to make pay for performance work.

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