Pay for Performance is Debated on Recent Episode of Ideas in Action

A recent episode of Ideas in Action, a half-hour weekly series hosted by former Under Secretary of State Jim Glassman, focused on educator pay for performance. Featured guests included Cynthia G. Brown (Vice President of Education at the Center for American Progress), James W. Guthrie (Senior Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute and professor of education at Southern Methodist University), and Richard Rothstein (research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and the former education columnist for The New York Times).

The roundtable discussion examined the future of pay for performance policies and strategies to assess teachers’ contributions to student learning. While many programs focus primarily on test scores, Rothstein noted, a singular focus of standardized assessment results can result in teachers abandoning other aspects of their teaching. While panelists debated the optimal role for student test scores in teacher evaluations, they agreed that there is a need for a more holistic set of measures when evaluating teacher performance.

The future of education policy and research were also discussed, including the direction in which the Obama administration is headed with regards to teacher accountability and incentives. They also emphasized the importance of concerted efforts to ensure that research and practice are meaningfully and diligently informed by one another.

To view the segment, click here.