Over seven years ago, Michigan passed a law calling for teachers to be paid based on performance. The law has been largely ignored, despite evidence that the old compensation system doesn’t work.
The traditional way of paying teachers according to seniority and academic credentials does not benefit student learning. Research has shown that having a teacher with a master’s degree offers a student no advantages. A Brookings Institution report calls it “one of the most consistent findings in education research.” Yet in Michigan, hundreds of millions of dollars go to funding these “master’s bumps” rather than recognizing teachers for merit.