Effective ways of evaluating and rewarding teachers can help toattract and retain high-quality teaching staff, according to a newOECD report: Evaluating and Rewarding the Quality ofTeachers reviews how countries evaluate teacher performanceand provide rewards and incentives to motivate teachers, andprovides a guide for creating and implementing evaluation andreward systems.
An educational system can only be as good as its teachers.The report identifies good practices in the design andimplementation of evaluation and teacher incentive systems fromvarious perspectives through formulation, stakeholder negotiation,implementation, monitoring and follow-up. It provides answersto the following questions:
-What aspects of performance in education should be rewarded andhow should they be measured in evaluation systems?
-Who should be rewarded? Individual teachers, groups of teachers orschools?
-What mechanisms have effectively been used to rewardteachers?
-How should such policies be developed and implemented to ensurestakeholder engagement and commitment?
The report, drawn up as part of a collaboration project withMexico, reviews some 20 countries including Chile, India, Mexico,Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Contrastingpractices are reported from around the world. In Singapore, forinstance, teachers are rated on a range of criteria, according towhich they may receive bonuses of 1-3 month’s salary.
In Chile, separate systems reward individual teachers and groups ofteachers, whereas in Brazil the emphasis is placed on rewards tohigh performing schools.
Sweden presents a particular case, where yearly increases in salaryare negotiated on an individual basis between the teacher and theschool. In other countries, traditional salary scales rewardlength of service rather than performanceexcellence. Non-monetary incentives exist, such as greaterschool autonomy in Nicaragua, positive working conditions inEngland and Wales and parts of the United States.
The report recommends that governments draw on elements from themore successful experiences cited:
• Adequate and consistent funding of evaluation and incentivesprogrammes to strengthen their credibility and motivate teachersover time.
• Robust information and data systems that can link studentperformance to teachers and schools over time, so that decisionsare evidence-based and reward programmes more objective.
• Sufficient communication and consultation from the beginning withkey stakeholders, including teachers and their unions, but alsoparents and administrators.
• Commonly agreed goals and methods for evaluating and rewardingteachers, as well as clear targets for student improvement.
The report emphasizes that designing and implementing effectivesystems needs to be a gradual process that takes into considerationthe needs of all stakeholders and clarifies the objectives that itaims to achieve.
Editor Susan Sclafani, former advisor of the government of theUnited States and one of the architects of its national educationalpolicy, has drawn together contributions from leading experts inthe area of teacher evaluation, incentives and stimuli.
The report is available