Australia prepares for merit pay plan

The Australian government is moving forward on plans that would give its top teachers a one-time bonus, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Those deemed “highly accomplished” would get $7,500 and “lead teachers” would earn $10,000 in 2014.

But some are worried that the performance pay system is happening too quickly, without the time to develop a good way to measure teacher effectiveness. As Lawrence Ingvarson of the Australian Council for Educational Research put it:

"[The current plan] will leave only 2012 for development, which is unlikely to be enough time to develop and trial assessment methods for their validity and feasibility or to check reliability and fairness in the systems for scoring the evidence. 

It would be risky to go to scale with a certification system without strong evidence that its methods are feasible and that it can, for example, distinguish teachers who meet the standards from those who do not. Without rigour, certification schemes lose respect and waste money; or worse, are distorted and lead to a loss of credibility in the profession.”

Tags: Australia