Assessment Strategies and Pay for Performance: Is there a Form of Assessment That Indicates the Quality of a Teacher?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Education


Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies

Faculty Sponsor

A.J. Zenkert


Assessment Strategies and Pay for Performance: Is There a Form of Assessment That Indicates the Quality of a Teacher?Through a project for one of our courses, we did a literature review of different methods for teacher compensation. Specifically focusing on “pay for performance” and “merit pay”, we are seeking to better understand what it means to be a “quality teacher” and how this can be connected to salary.

In many strict “pay for performance” structures, educators are paid based on the performance of their students, which is often determined by standardized test scores. “Merit based pay” is similar and sometimes used for the same purpose, however in this research we will define it as a system that considers student test scores in addition to other factors, such as teacher preparation programs, ongoing professional development, student and parent perceptions, and administrator evaluations.

Building on this, we conducted our own research with local teachers in an effort to explore assessment strategies and data (such as growth) that teachers believe are most authentic. We interviewed teachers and an administrator at a local elementary school to find out their current understanding of pay for performance models, their most valued forms of assessment and data, and whether they would want their school, district, state to implement a pay for performance model and why.

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