Promoting Quality Teaching: New Approaches to Compensation and Career Pathways

Promoting Quality Teaching: New Approaches to Compensation and Career Pathways cover
November 14, 2012

The Accomplished California Teachers' (ACT's) first report, A Quality Teacher in Every Classroom: Creating a Teacher Evaluation System That Works for California, laid out a vision for fair and effective evaluations to ensure that every teacher receives the feedback and support needed to advance along a path of constant improvement. Their central recommendation in that report was that teaching expertise should be evaluated using multiple, robust measures, along a continuum of professional growth.

This report builds on that notion and presents another dimension of their vision for the teaching profession: teacher compensation and its role in advancing teacher quality. A good evaluation system should be linked to a compensation plan that recognizes increasing levels of accomplishment, fosters higher quality teaching, and rewards the significant teacher contributions to the learning of students and colleagues. But money alone will not transform teaching; higher compensation should be logically tied to new professional roles and greater responsibilities as teachers progress along a career pathway.

In building a framework for professional growth and compensation based on learning for students and adults, rather than merely rewards or sanctions, ACT creates a different vision for a teaching profession: one that honors the knowledge and craft of developing successful teaching over a lifelong career and that creates incentives for wellqualified individuals to enter the profession, continue to grow, and to share what they know so that the entire enterprise of education improves.