Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Florida has enacted a plan to reward teachers based on their classroom performance, as measured on standardized student achievement tests and principal evaluations. This merit pay initiative is designed to provide a financial incentive for teachers to improve student outcomes, to encourage the retention of proficient teachers, and to attract high-skilled individuals to the teaching profession. The design and implementation of merit pay faces several key challenges. First, student outcomes are difficult to define and measure. Second, the contributions of individual teachers to student outcomes are difficult to disentangle from student background and prior achievement. The analysis shows serious deficiencies in several measures of teacher performance. Policy makers should be wary of adapting any measure without careful analysis of its properties and a plan to monitor how it is performing. The key issue is whether the incentive and sorting effects of an admittedly imperfect merit pay system can improve the quality of the teacher workforce.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Florida Education Association and conducted within RAND Education.

This report is part of the RAND working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.