Performance pay for teachers

The NSW government is set to announce performance pay for teachers, predictably the teacher unions are having a sook about it. The unions never want performance pay, they exist to protect mediocrity:

Teacher salaries will be determined by performance instead of years of experience, the NSW government is expected to announce today.

As part of changes to give public schools more power over their budgets and how they choose teachers, principals will reportedly be able to use financial incentives to attract capable teachers from other areas.

But the NSW Teachers Federation has criticised the changes as unfair.

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Principals will be given control of 70 per cent of their budget, compared with the current 10 per cent, News Ltd reports.

The federation’s president, Maurie Mulheron, said that giving principals the “right to hire and fire” was a populist idea.

The changes were a dramatic setback for the system.


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  • thor42

    Oh, wow – “a dramatic setback for the system”.
    Yeah, right – as if having performance-based pay, just like everyone else has, is the end of the world.
    Pinko wankers. 

  • Guest

    Populist = wrong, it would seem.

  • Kosh103

    PP is unworkable if you want it to be actually fair and a real reflection of fact.

    • Travdog

      even if the fact is some aren’t performing? I think the fairness would be in paying the better teachers more.

      • Kosh103

        But the issue is defining performing. It is not as simple as the general public think. Because sometimes amazing progress for a kid is getting them to come to school 4 times a week as opposed to 2.

        Are we going to allow measuring that progress?

    • Peter Wilson

      It’s hard to disagree performance pay would be very difficult to design, in a way that was fair, taking into account class sizes, environments etc etc. But why not at least try.

      A good start would be limiting performance pay to lower socio-economic schools, decile 3 and below.

      • Kosh103

        If the Govt (although because of the level of antieducational attitude National have I dont think they can, anywho…) can come up with a REALLY FAIR and GENUINE way to measure ACTAUL REAL performance, then fine. I will happily support any such system (hope the Govt will  be able to afford the large number of massive pay increases that will happen).

        But until they can do this, then they will have one hell of a fight on their hands from all teachers who understand how the real world is.

      • starboard

        Looking at your spelling in a few of your posts , I cant believe you are a teacher.

  • thor42

    “sometimes amazing progress for a kid is getting them to come to school 4 times a week as opposed to 2.

    Are we going to allow measuring that progress?” 

    Definitely yes, among other things.
    “Child shows reduction in truancy”. 
    Nothing wrong with having that as one of the criteria.

    How difficult is it to measure improvements in spelling?
    Improvements in grammar? Improvements in numeracy?  
    It’s not **that** difficult.

    Whenever it comes to proposed improvements in teaching, everything always seems to be “too hard” or “we can’t do that”. Nonsense. 

    All we ever hear from teachers is excuses and more excuses.

    • Kosh103

       Wrong thor, you dont hear excuses. You hear pleading for REAL ideas the can be backed up by evidance.

      Not bullshit ideas backed up by political leanings.

      • thor42

        Ok then, kosh. 
        The issue is a “real and genuine way to measure actual real performance of teachers.”
        How would YOU design such a system? 
        What kind of measures would it include?

  • Kosh103

    My my thor, so hostile when the flaws in your posts are pointed out.

    Any sytem would have to include considerations for every single social issue that teachers must deal with. Given that classes change each year, every year the social conditions would change for every teacher. It must also be identified the conditions than can be controled bu the teacher and those that cannot. Making sure no teacher is punished for the failings of the family.

    Then you would have to take into account all the learning issues teachers face. And once again change them evey single year for every teacher due to the new makeup of thier class.

    Class size has to be factored in. Smaller classes means the teacher can spend more time with children of need, larger class sizes mean less teacher time. Also, does that teacher have teacher aid help, and if so how many hours a day, how effective is the teacher aid needs to be considered as well.

    Also, any outside help a child might be getting needs to be taken into account, as well as the quality of that outside help.

    Then there is the actual academic improvement for students. Keeping in mind evey child learns at a different speed, has different apporaches to learning and their ability to learn. Taking their starting point at the begining of the year, then comparing their end point with where the NZC says they should be (factoring in all the issues for each indv child).

    That would be a reasonable place to start.

    • Bafacu

      Some reaoned argumants for a change – well done (but could have done better!). There are still a number of “outs” in every one of your points.

      How’s this for a starter – take out the socio-economic perspective by allocating the same amount of money to each school that they currently gey (and in subsequent years any increases across the board) and then allow that to allocated within the school to the teachers who achieve within defined frameworks. That precludes the fallacious argument of judging schools from different environments (as I assume most, if not all, pupils at the same school have nearly equal socio-economic siuations).

      • Kosh103

        A reasonable thought, however, large inner city schools have a cast socio-eco. mix of kids. As well as a far greater range of social, behaviour and  learning issues to deal with as opposed to small rual schools who tend to be more of a standardised population.

        But to the decile system – it is SOOO inacurate that something does need to be done.

  • Kiwidon

    sigh – and the socialists had 9 years to get it right! (excuse the pun!)

  • Gazzaw

    There’s no black and white here. Kosh has raised some good points but I still favour an element of performance pay as I have yet to see an industry where incentive payments do not work. It will need a lot of work from both sides of the equation & those sides must enter into the dialogue with open minds or it will never work. There is a sensible middle ground to be found here.      

    • Kosh103

      Sadly with the current govt, there is no middle ground, it is either their way, or they will simply try to crush you.

      • Gazzaw

        That’s exactly the preconceived attitude that I am referring to Kosh. Parata hasn’t been in the job five minutes, give her a chance to put her cards on the table. Nothing to lose and a lot to gain including public support.

      • Kosh103

        Having met the new Minister I am happy to say she is a marked improvement on the last.

        But she is still off track when it comes to education.

  • Chiefsfan73

    Kosh 103 says 
    “But until they can do this, then they will have one hell of a fight on their hands from all teachers who understand how the real world is.”
    When many teachers have entered the education system at age 5 and never left, the real world is in fact foreign to them.  

    • Kosh103

      Ahhh, falling back on sterotypes I see.

      • Chiefsfan73

        I said many not all.  I know some who along with their partners run successful farming enterprises, but I also know many who know little of the  world outside the education realm.  My partner is a teacher, so I have some but not a deep understanding of the education sector.  Who’s quick to judge now.
        My partner agrees PP would be difficult, why?  because all the good teachers will go to NSW, where does the NSW dross go, interstate of course.

  • Geoff

    Something interesting I see here in the West of Oz  are independent public schools. They have a budget and are allowed to hire and fire who they need. The union doesn’t tell them what to do. The parents of the pupils do.

    • Kosh103

      And a large number of Oz kids belive yougurt grows on trees.

      Makes you think.

      • Gazzaw

        They can probably spell yoghurt though kosh & if not too sure would have the initiative to wander off to the fridge to check.

      • Kosh103

        Oh my I accidently missed the h, such a stinging comeback. Well that has turned the discussion on its head now, I guess performace pay is going to happen now.

      • Gazzaw

        Couldn’t resist it!

      • Bunswalla

        By ” a large number” you mean less than one third of primary school children, which is actually a small percentage. And the question wasn’t whether it grew on trees or not, it was whether yoghurt was a fruit. For the millions of Australian schoolchildren living in metropolitam areas that have no direct experience of the food chain, it’s not as stupid as you’re making it out to be. Who’s stereotyping now?

        But in any case, no doubt PP will ehlpe to sort it out. Add it as a KPI and any teacher whose kids can’t correctly identify what yoghurt is get marked down – simple!

  • Kosh103

    You are seriously going to defend just under 1/3 children thinking yoghurt grows on trees is nothing to be worried about.

    LMAO  – ohhhh dear.

    • Chiefsfan73

      Not as worring as the 10/10 lefties who have ever held the treasury benches thinking that’s where money grows.