Teachers around the world have a commitment to meet a range of learners’ needs, from engaging them in meaningful and relevant learning experiences and supporting their cognitive and social development to being responsible for their care and physical safety. They are accountable not just to their students and their parents, but also to their peers and supervisors and to the community and society in which they reside. In addition, they are accountable for whether they adhere to professional standards laid out by professional associations and unions for the way that they carry out their duties in the school.
Is the best way to judge their performance by tying their pay to student test results?
There is no doubt that there is a need for increased accountability of teachers, under which they would have more support, collaboration and training, leading to higher expectations. In many countries, standardised learning assessments have become the basis for holding teachers, as well as school leaders, schools and/or entire systems accountable by assessing performance on specific metrics, published in regular reports. In some contexts, teachers and school leaders are rewarded or sanctioned based on student assessment results, as is the case in the USA, in Mexico with the ‘Carrera magisterial’, or Portugal for example. But is this the best way to hold them to account?
This is one of the many questions the GEM 2017 will be looking to answer as it takes on the broad issue of Accountability in Education. It is one of the many questions we hope to get your opinion on via our online consultation as we gear up to begin our research. We also put the question to the public in a twitter poll last week, with a resounding 81% of people disagreeing.
Alternatives to performance related pay could, for instance, focus on better developed and enforced rigorous professional standards, licensing and certification requirements, an effective, engaged school inspectors, and evaluation frameworks that include peer review. At the school level, mentoring, peer observations, collaboration and student surveys could also be considered as a basis to helping teachers improve their teaching practices.
In many countries, for instance, school inspection has been used as a major instrument of regulatory accountability. In others, school self-evaluations complement school inspections systems. These evaluations incorporate multiple measures as well as the perspectives of various stakeholders such as parents and students.
In tertiary education, meanwhile, regulatory accountability relies on third parties for effective implementation, involving state agencies, higher education institutions, and independent supervisory agencies.
What do you think? And what should we investigate as we begin our research? Join our consultation