Education Wrong Place for Performance Pay
‘The suggestion that performance pay would prompt higher quality teaching in primary schools misses the point,’ said
Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.
‘We would agree with the Minister of Education that a high quality teaching force makes a difference to children’s
achievement. We have it already! The Minister needs only look at our world class rankings in achievement to see that our
children continually rank amongst the highest achievers in the world,’ he said.
Performance pay would be counter-productive to quality teaching,’ said Drummond, ‘because it would destroy our culture
of healthy collaboration. It is the wrong incentive,’ he said.
‘In primary schools team teaching and collaboration are common practice,’ said Drummond. ‘It would be impossible to try
and calculate each teacher’s individual input to any particular child’s achievements,’ he said, ‘and why would you?’
‘What counts can’t always be measured,’ says Drummond. ‘Suggesting that performance pay is appropriate in education is a
mistake. Who would get the credit for the achievement of the eight-year-old boy who has suddenly switched on to reading?
The new entrant teacher who instilled the basic knowledge of books, or the Kapa Haka teacher who instilled a sense of
identity and a reason to come to school?’ said Drummond. ‘When does a teacher’s influence start and end?’ he said.
‘If we are looking to increase success for our Māori and Pasifika and other children who are not sharing the same
success as their peers, then performance pay is not the answer. said Drummond. ‘It is our broad, rich curriculum and
increased cultural understandings that are key to engaging those children and that requires investment in all teachers,
in all schools,’ he said.