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For Immediate Release
October 3, 2007
Contact: Heather Reams
Director of Communications

Teacher Survey Sheds New Light on Performance Pay Debate

Alexandria, VA—Today the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union teachers’ association, released its second survey on No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Survey results showed distinct differences in opinion with teacher labor unions, particularly with regard to performance pay and the use of “growth models” for accountability, both of which give teachers credit for student academic gains made during the school year.

The 1,286 respondents, all of whom are active classroom educators, appear to agree with language that is currently in a draft bill of NCLB in Congress that encourages districts to implement some kind of performance-base pay system for teachers.

“Teachers know better than anyone what parts of NCLB work and what parts need to be improved or removed altogether,” said Gary Beckner, AAE Executive Director. “This survey shows, however, that there are thousands of teachers who do not agree with the agenda for NCLB that is being pushed by the teacher unions.”

Some results of the survey are as follows:

  • 70% of respondents say that traditional compensation systems based simply on the highest degree earned and time in the system should be improved upon;
  • 63% say they would accept additional compensation based on the tested academic growth of their students over a school year;
  • 59% say they should receive a bonus if their students achieve higher student achievement gains than other teachers teaching the same type of students;
  • Members stated that student achievement gains and classroom evaluations were the top two measures of their work.

“Clearly educators want to be evaluated and compensated just like other professions,” said Beckner. “If teachers want different pay options to reward them for good work, they should have them.”

When teachers were asked about “growth models” for accountability, 81% supported adding a growth model component to NCLB.

A growth model gives credit to teachers and schools for academic gains each student makes from their initial baseline during the school year. This is especially important for teachers working with students who begin the school year several grade levels behind. Most educators agree that this is a more fair and accurate representation of a child's true academic progress.

The majority of teachers – 84% – agree with both the state and federal criteria for Highly Qualified Teacher status.

The responses were not all positive. Teachers believe that it is an unrealistic goal for all students to be on grade level by 2014.

Complete results of the survey, which ended on September 17, can be found at

Dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student, the Association of American Educators is the premier educators’ network that advances the teaching profession through teacher advocacy and protection, professional development and promoting excellence in education so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities.