Performance Pay: Louisiana

Retaining Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should support performance pay but in a manner that recognizes its appropriate uses and limitations.

Meets in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Performance Pay: Louisiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/LA-Performance-Pay-9

Analysis of Louisiana's policies

Louisiana supports a performance pay initiative. The state allows local districts to adopt "an incentive compensation program providing for monetary awards based on performance." Neither the basis nor the amount of the award for effective performance is addressed.

Citation

Recommendations for Louisiana

Ensure performance pay is connected to student achievement.
Although Louisiana is commended for supporting performance pay, it should guarantee a connection to student achievement and prevent local districts from basing financial incentives on other elements that may not be indicative of performance in the classroom

State response to our analysis

Louisiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Research on merit pay in 28 industrialized countries from Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance found that students in countries with merit pay policies in place were performing at a level approximately one year's worth of schooling higher on international math and science tests than students in countries without such policies (2011). 

Erik Hanushek found that a teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates $400,000 in student future earnings for a class size of 20. See Hanushek, Erik A. "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality," National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 16606 (December 2010).

In addition, numerous conference papers published by the National Center on Performance Incentives reinforce the need to recognize the limitations and appropriate uses of performance pay. See: http://www.performanceincentives.org/.