A Consideration of Educator Evaluation and Compensation Reform

by Andrew Morgan, Minh Nguyen, Ben Ost, Steven Rivkin
Thursday, January 23, 2020


Well-designed education evaluation systems have the potential to catalyze important educator compensation reforms and drive improved teacher retention and student performance, as major American districts such as Dallas and DC have shown. In the design of their systems, consideration was given to student outcomes, type of school, and desired long-term impact on their educator workforce. This essay outlines how school districts could tackle these research-based reforms, particularly for their highest-need schools, but only if they are willing to properly design human capital systems in ways that are not always popular.

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About the Authors

Steven Rivkin is professor and head of the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, director of the John F. Kain Center for Education Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and fellow at the CESifo Research Network in Munich. Rivkin has served on government advisory committees and task forces and served as a member of the Amherst and Amherst Regional School Boards.

Ben Ost is associate professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research explores a variety of issues related to education policy including teacher quality measurement, within-school resource allocation, and the returns to higher education. He received his PhD in economics from Cornell University.

Andrew Morgan is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on the economics of education with an emphasis on educator evaluation and quality. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and his master’s degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire.

Minh Nguyen is an assistant professor at Ball State University. Her research interests lie in health, education, and development economics. Her current research examines how public policies have affected the effectiveness of school administrators and teachers and the accumulation of human capital. She received her PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.