CPRE Policy Brief: Reinventing Teacher Compensation Systems - September 1995
New Structures and Approaches to Compensation
No one compensation plan should be viewed as an ideal, or universally applicable model. And
teacher compensation systems alone are not the solution to vague and often conflicting
educational goals, and low levels of student achievement. However, compensation is a potentially
powerful tool that could be used to support education reform efforts, reward excellence, and
undergird a climate of educational excellence. They compensation reforms in Kentucky, South
Carolina, Dallas, and Douglas County, as well as research evidence from the private sector
provide some early lessons, about new approaches to teacher compensation.
State and local policymakers may want to consider launching efforts to transform compensation
by adding elements of skills-or competency-based pay. This would send a signal to teachers and
the education system that new skills are needed and valued, and that a key to accomplishing the
education goal of teaching students to world-class achievement levels is to enhance the
professional knowledge and skills of teachers. Pay-at-risk and performance bonuses should also
be considered, but probably as smaller elements of new compensation programs.
[Design and Development]