General Resources

Databurst: Strategic Teacher Compensation

This policy snapshot from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) provides a state-by-state comparison of legislation on teacher compensation based on four key factors: effective performance, working in high-needs schools or subjects, and having relevant, non-teaching work experience. Highlighting promising policies in Louisiana and Utah and other noteworthy state policies by region, NCTQ presents examples of how states have designed strategic compensation systems while providing some flexibility and support to their districts.

Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture: A Practical Policy Guide

This policy guide by Public Impact shows how districts can design teacher career paths that will keep excellent teachers in the classroom and extend their reach to more students, for more pay, within budget. The guide discusses how districts, when using these career paths, create opportunities for excellent teachers to reach more students either directly or by leading teaching teams and for all teachers to receive the support and development they deserve.

Career Pathways, Performance Pay, and Peer Review: Promotion in Baltimore City Public Schools

This case study focuses on an innovative teacher contract approved and implemented in Baltimore in 2012 under Dr. Andres Alonso, the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. The contract is accompanied by a four-tier career pathway that links teacher performance to pay and promotion. Within the pathway, teachers can earn higher pay by collecting achievement units or completing peer-reviewed projects.

Genuine Progress, Greater Challenges: A Decade of Teacher Effectiveness Reforms

This report considers teacher effectiveness reforms over the last 10 years and addresses changes in practices and policy that resulted from these reforms. The report describes how policymakers’ perception of teachers changed from viewing teachers as “interchangeable parts” 10 years ago to “the single most important in-school factor for student learning today,” and proposes that, moving forward, policymakers should focus on five main areas: meaningful evaluation of teacher performance, professional development, teacher preparation, productivity, and political strategy.

The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success

This report examines how educators working together can improve student outcomes. Through surveys of teachers and principals, this report examines the views of teachers, teacher leaders, and students on what collaboration looks like in schools and the impact it can have. It also assesses the importance of building time into the school schedule to accommodate collaboration among in-school educators. 

Spending Money Wisely: Getting the Most from School District Budgets

Produced by the District Management Journal, this series of 10 briefs summarizes 10 key opportunities for districts to realign resources and free up funds for other district priorities. This “Top 10” list takes into account both theory and practice, using real-life lessons from districts that implemented similar initiatives. Briefs cover topics including professional development for teachers, extending the reach of effective teachers, and scheduling services equitably using data.

School Check: Assess Your School’s Resources Use Against Four Key Principles

These links contain tools for elementary school and secondary school leaders to establish whether they are using resources strategically and to help them determine areas where spending could be reduced.

Transfer Incentives for High-Performing Teachers: Final Results From a Multisite Randomized Experiment

This research study, published by the U.S. Department of Education and Mathematica Policy Research, analyzes the effect of providing high-performing teachers selective transfer incentives to move to a struggling school. In particular, it analyzes the Talent Transfer Initiative experiment, which was implemented in 10 school districts in seven states. The study found that the transfer incentive successfully attracted high-performing teachers and had a positive impact on teacher-retention rates during the payout period.

A Blueprint for R.E.S.P.E.C.T.—Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching

As part of the U.S Department of Education's RESPECT (Recognizing Education Success, Professional, Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching) movement, this publication lays out seven critical components of a new, transformed profession identified by ED and seven other national teacher organizations. The document also outlines next steps ED will take to continue this conversation with teachers and help to reach this vision to reform and elevate the teaching profession.

Transforming Teaching: Connecting Professional Responsibility With Student Learning

This report, released by the National Education Association, identifies guiding principles set by 21 teachers and leaders from across the country to transform the teaching profession. The report envisions a profession that “embraces collective accountability for student learning balanced with collaborative autonomy that allows educators to do what is best for students” and provides recommendations for state and local teachers associations, preparation programs, districts, states, and policymakers to make this vision a reality.


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