Master Thesis: Performance-related pay for teachers

My master thesis can be found here. The thesis is about performance-related pay (PRP) for teachers, a hot item in many countries, as it is in my home country the Netherlands. I will sum up the main findings below:

  • Teachers are not very well paid (although not very bad either...)
  • Teachers themselves are quite unhappy about their level of pay
  • Current teachers pay is based on: certification, experience and academic achievements
  • However, none of these, easily observable, characteristics identify high quality teachers
  • The current pay system does not help to attract and retain high quality teachers
  • High quality teachers are very important, as high quality teachers can significantly increase students achievements 

  • In theory PRP may help to attract and retain high quality teachers
  • The most important problem that arises is how to measure teachers output
  • Subjective measurement is unwanted because of nepotism (favouritism)
  • Objective measurement via value-added method are, at this moment, not reliable enough.
  • This implicates that, at this moment, the PRP part cannot be very large and should most likely use a relative pay structure 

  • The empirical evidence  is not very large and contains a wide range of program setups
  • The empirical evidence is mixed, as both positive, mixed, and negative results are found
  • More research is thus needed 

  • Lastly I analysed a survey of roughly 3000 teachers in the Netherlands
  • All teachers are negative towards subjective evaluations
  • Younger teachers have a more positive attitude towards PRP than older teachers
To sum up, PRP may have potential, however, currently more research is needed to determine if PRP may help to improve the quality of teachers. So we shouldn't rush to introduce these kind of programs...

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