Performance Pay: Virginia

Retaining Effective Teachers Policy


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

Meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Performance Pay: Virginia results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Virginia's policies

For the 2011-2012 school year, hard-to-staff schools in Virginia have been invited to participate in the state's Performance-Pay Incentives Initiative. Schools that receive grant funding for this program must implement a comprehensive teacher-evaluation system and at least 40 percent of teacher evaluations must be based on student-growth. The maximum stipend per teacher is $5,000.  


Recommendations for Virginia

State response to our analysis

Virginia was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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: