There’s lots of discussion of the idea of “performance pay” (also known as “contingent pay”) both in the public and on this blog. Performance pay, I think, is what merit pay for teachers is all about, and I think that label can also be applied to traditional grading systems for students. Even when merit pay is not involved, in face, many of the factors involved in many teacher evaluation systems still use a number of the damaging factors applied in the performance pay concept.

Now, the Harvard Business Review – of all places – has published what I think is the most thorough and devastating critique that I’ve seen of performance pay – see Stop Paying Executives for Performance.

It’s targeting executive pay but, with a few minor changes in wording, the article can be applied to teacher pay and evaluation, as well as student assessment. It’s short, and definitely worth the read.

Here’s an excerpt:


So, what do we do instead, you might ask?

You could start by checking out The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

If you wanted to get a teacher-centric critique of merit pay, you could visit The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea.

I’ve also shared some posts on the concept of evaluating teacher “inputs” instead of “outcomes” – explore New Study Suggests That Teacher Observations Should Focus More On Teacher Inputs, Less On Student Outcomes

And I have many more related resources at A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.