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Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality
Attracting, Developing, and Retaining the Best Teachers

April 2006 | 200 pages | Corwin

"This is a good and needed book. I would buy it, and recommend it to a wide range of educators."
-Kenneth D. Peterson, Author
Professor, Portland State University

"The authors have amassed a tremendous amount of information and assembled it into a very readable book that is an excellent resource."
-Randel Beaver, Superintendent, Archer City School District, TX

Attract and retain the highest-quality teachers through competitive compensation programs!

While many working in the teaching profession cite intangible rewards as reasons for staying in the profession, concrete rewards such as salary, benefits, and working conditions are inextricably linked to attracting, developing, and retaining highly-qualified teachers. This timely text examines the fundamental link between teacher pay and teacher quality as well as the extent to which compensation can be aligned with student achievement.

A range of existing compensation models are reviewed in order to provide a balanced, practical, research-based approach for developing a comprehensive, best-practice teacher compensation system. School administrators can use these synthesized, innovative findings to

  • Determine the most practical compensation model for achieving their school's objectives
  • Examine different pay options used across the country
  • Connect their school's compensation program to organizational goals
  • Discover how to attract and retain high-quality teachers

Advance student achievement and improve teacher retention by developing a deeper understanding of the connection between teacher pay and teacher quality.

About the Authors
1. Attracting, Developing, Retaining – and Paying – Quality Teachers
Examining Motivation: Do Financial Incentives Work in Promoting Teacher Quality?

How We Pay Teachers: A Brief History of Teacher Compensation

Current Issues and Trends in Teacher Compensation

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality

Concluding Thoughts: Where Do We Go From Here?

2. Teacher Pay and School Purposes: How Do They Relate?
Aligning Teacher Compensation With Organizational Purpose and Direction

Moving Forward: Key Considerations for Developing a Compensation System

Establishing Criteria: Defining and Measuring Quality

Summary: Teacher Compensation in the Big Picture of School Purpose

3. Competitive Salaries and Benefits: How Do We Stack Up?
How Do Principles of Environmental Scanning Apply to Teacher Compensation Systems?

How Can the Competitiveness of Teacher Salaries Be Assessed?

How Can Nonsalary Benefits Contribute to a Competitive Salary Package?

What Role Can Working Conditions Play in a Competing Market?

Summary: Teacher Quality and Competitive Pay

4. Considering Options for Teacher Pay: What Are the Promising Possibilities?
Single-Salary Schedule

Extra Duty/Additional Responsibility Pay

Career Ladder

Knowledge- and Skills-Based Pay

Individual Evaluation Pay

Performance-Based Pay

Creative Compensation: Other Ways of Recognizing Teacher Quality


5. Building a Model Teacher Compensation System: What Will Work Best for Us?
Assumptions About Compensation Systems

Design Principles: Considerations in Teacher Compensation

Designing a Compensation System Aimed at Quality

A Component-Parts Approach to Teacher Compensation

A Model for Teacher Compensation

A Closer Look at the Components of Compensation

Compensation and Quality

Alternatives to Consider

Concluding Thoughts: Designing a Compensation System

6. From Planning to Implementation: How Do We Make This Change?
Step 1: Develop the Aims and Criteria of the Compensation System

Step 2: Select Compensation Components

Step 3: Plan for Implementation

Step 4: Pilot the Restructured Compensation System

Step 5: Districtwide Implementation and Evaluation

Concluding Thoughts: Teacher Quality and Teacher Pay


"The authors have amassed a tremendous amount of information and assembled it into a very readable book that will be an excellent resource."

Randel Beaver
Archer City School District, TX

"This is a good and needed book. I would buy it, and recommend it to a wide range of educators."

Kenneth D. Peterson
Professor, Portland State University

"Makes several noteworthy contributions to current deliberations about how teacher compensation systems might promote the recruitment, retention, and ongoing development of a high-quality teacher workforce."

Teachers College Record, August 2006
Key features
  • Customizable planning guide for schools and districts
  • Hands-on book with ready to implement "how to" tips and visuals
  • School district case-study examples and models

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

For instructors

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