CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Knowledge and Skill-based Teacher Evaluation and Pay

The goal of this project (2001-2006) was to broaden, deepen, and continue CPRE's research on the effects of knowledge- and skill-based pay systems by examining whether these systems, and related knowledge- and skill-based teacher evaluation systems, could contribute to improving instruction, and therefore student achievement. By instruction we mean the same interactions among teachers and students around instructional tasks and materials. Researchers studied changes in these interactions in the complex environments within which instructional improvement occurs (i.e., within the school, district, and broader policy environment).

The project sought to answer the following questions:

  • Do knowledge- and skill-based pay systems and knowledge- and skill-based teacher evaluation systems motivate the acquisition of the knowledge and skills embodied in the models?
  • Does the development of a "critical mass" of teachers who have acquired the knowledge and skills lead to the development of a shared conception of good instruction and support for improving practice?
  • Does the acquisition of the knowledge and skills and the diffusion of a shared conception of good practice lead to changes in instruction?
  • Do the observed changes in instruction lead to improvements in student achievement?
  • Are different knowledge and skill systems and different methods of implementation associated with different degrees of skill acquisition, instructional practice change, and improvement in student achievement? (For example, is paying for knowledge and skill acquisition more effective than making knowledge and skill attainment part of the teacher evaluation process?)


Teacher Performance Pay: Synthesis of Plans, Research, and Guidelines for Practice (Herbert Heneman III, Anthony Milanowski, and Steven Kimball, CPRE Research Brief No. RB-46)

Standards-Based Teacher Evaluation as a Foundation for Knowledge-and Skill-Based Pay (Herbert Heneman III, Anthony Milanowski, Steven Kimball, and Allan Odden, CPRE Research Brief No. RB-45)

The Motivational Effects of School-Based Performance Awards (Carolyn Kelley, Allan Odden, Anthony Milanowski, and Herbert Heneman III, CPRE Research Brief No. RB-29)

An early assessment of comprehensive teacher compensation change plans. In D. Monk and M. Plecki (Eds.), School Finance and Teacher Quality: Exploring the Connections (Allan Odden, 2003 Annual Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association (pp. 209-228)

Paying Teachers for What They Know and Do: New and Smarter Compensation Strategies to Improve Schools, Second Edition (Allan Odden and Carolyn Kelley, Corwin Press, 2001)

How to Create World Class Teacher Compensation (Allan Odden and Marc Wallace, Freeload Press, 2007)

Rewarding Teacher Excellence: A Compensation Handbook for State and Local Policymakers (Allan Odden and Marc Wallace, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2007)