Experts told the Iowa Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce that 80 percent of mid- and large-sized American businesses have pay plans linked to an employee’s performance.
The bipartisan Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce is trying to devise a plan that would implement merit-based pay plans in Iowa schools, departing from the idea of basing teacher pay on tenure and how many degrees a teacher may hold. But Dr. Robert Koob, former University of Northern Iowa president and co-chair of the bipartisan group, says there are a wide variety of performance-based-pay models being used in “Corporate America.” “None of which seem to be working perfectly was the point that we learned,” Koob says.
But Koob and the rest of the group will meet again in November and December to try to devise some merit-based pay system to test in a few Iowa schools next year. “For those to be successful they need to be included with management of what we call human performance factors,” Koob says “Things about coaching people, making sure expectations are clear, giving proper feed-back — things of that sort.”
According to Koob, Iowa can’t really mimic a merit-based teacher pay plan that’s been implemented in another state. “There are a few experiments out there but there’s nothing sustained in the same way that you find in Corporate America and so there’s very little evidence that provides guidelines to us about what to choose,” Koob says. “That makes for a challenge. We’re going to have to go forward in Iowa — if we do it — with some experiments to see what actually works well.”
According to Koob, there is no dominant model of merit-based pay in Corporate America and none “jumps out” as the one to follow.