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A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay - Book Cover

A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay

Encouraging and Rewarding Schoolwide Improvement
By: Gary W. Ritter, Joshua H. Barnett

Foreword by James Guthrie
National Superintendents Roundtable

This step-by-step approach to introducing performance-based pay helps districts avoid common pitfalls and put best practices into action, including collaboration with teachers to design balanced assessments.

Full description

A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452255514
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2013
  • Page Count: 136
  • Publication date: May 09, 2013

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

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Reward your best teachers for the great work they do!

Is your school system considering teacher merit pay? Now is the time to understand the potential benefits and pitfalls of performance-based teacher pay, as well as how today’s most successful programs were developed. Drawing on substantial research with school districts, Gary Ritter and Joshua Barnett provide a step-by-step approach to setting up a merit pay system in your school district. Readers will find

  • An overview of existing merit pay programs and their strengths and weaknesses
  • A review of the 12 most common myths about merit pay, and how school leaders can respond
  • Six guiding principles for designing a merit pay program, along with how-to’s and timelines for every phase
  • Guidance on creating balanced assessments based on multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, and developed in collaboration with teachers

Ensure that your district’s merit pay program supports teachers’ professional growth, schoolwide progress, and student achievement.

“Ritter and Barnett bring much-needed researched clarity to this complex issue. For school administrators, education policy makers, legislators, and others interested in school reform, this book is a must-read.”
—Rod Paige, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

“This guide is a useful resource for undertaking merit pay, preventing pitfalls, and most importantly, offering solid recommendations for creating well-designed implementations.”
—Gary Stark, President and CEO
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

Key features

We will provide extensive charts, tables, and figures for each of the four aforementioned programs we described. We anticipate having approximately 20 tables, figures, workflows, and charts within the "how to" guide, presenting evidence from the work we have done and examples of what successful programs should include. We also will provide a flow chart for how to develop a program. See prospectus for examples.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Authors

1. Introduction: Merit Pay as Educational Fad or Genuine Solution

What Is Merit Pay?

Why the Interest in Merit Pay?

What’s Wrong with the Current Salary System?

How Might Merit Pay Help?

Why is Merit Pay So Complicated?

2. Why Is Merit Pay Gaining Momentum? A Brief History

3. What Can a Merit Plan Do for Your Teachers and Students?

Evidence on Merit Pay

Studies on Teacher Attitudes

Studies on Student Achievement

Summary of Evidence

4. The Top 12 Criticisms of Merit Pay

1. Merit Pay Discourages Teaching Disadvantaged Students

2. Merit Pay Encourages Teaching to the Test

3. What About Teachers of Nontested Subjects?

4. Merit Pay Assumes Teachers Teach for the Money; They Don't!

5. Teacher Merit Is Just Too Hard to Measure

6. Merit Pay Ratings Are Based on a Secret Formula

7. Teachers Are Already Working as Hard as They Can

8. Merit Pay Bonuses Are Too Small to Matter

9. How Is Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Supposed to Improve Instruction?

10. Merit Pay Encourages Counterproductive Competition and Discourages Collegiality

11. States Can't Afford Merit Pay During Times of Fiscal Austerity

12. Merit Pay Is an Unproven Reform

5. Guiding Principles and Pesky Questions

Guiding Principles for Designing and Implementing a Merit Pay Plan

Principle 1: The Evaluation System Must Be Clear and Understandable

Principle 2: Consistent Communication Is Critical

Principle 3: Evaluations Should Be Based on Multiple and Thoughtful Measures of Effectiveness

Principle 4: Plans Should Actively Encourage Collaboration and Discourage Counterproductive Competition

Principle 5: Merit Pay Plans Should Be Part of a Comprehensive School Improvement Strategy

Principle 6: Merit Pay Bonuses Should Be Substantial and Meaningful

Pesky Questions

Identifying Program Participants

Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

Ratings and Rewards

6. Timelines for Program Development and Implementation

Program Implementation Timeline

Step 1: Mulling It Over

Step 2: Organizing a Merit Pay Exploratory Committee

Step 3: First Meeting With the Exploratory Committee

Step 4: Introducing the Concept to the Full School Community

Step 5: Details, Details, Details

Step 6: Finalizing and Ratifying the Plan, or "Rocking the Vote"

Step 7: Getting Ready to Roll Out the Plan

Step 8: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Step 9: Checking In

Step 10: Show Me the Money

7. RAMP: Ramping Up Teacher Pay in Your School

RAMP: General Overview

RAMP: Details

Supervisor Evaluation

Schoolwide Student Achievement

Individual Classroom Achievement

Translating the Ratings Into Dollars


8. Conclusions

Finding Funding

Expectations for Your Program


Appendix A: Sample Teacher Survey

Appendix B: Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) Teacher Survey

Appendix C: Sample Report Card



RAMP: Applying the Principles



Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.