Press Advisory

Teacher Pay Reforms

The Political Implications of Recent Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Improving teacher quality is no simple task. While research convincingly shows that teacher quality is the most important schooling factor influencing student achievement, there does not appear to be any specific credential or characteristic that is a silver-bullet predictor of quality. Consequently, policymakers and education advocates may wish to address teacher performance through a focus on teacher workforce policies—that is, policies that are based on a teacher’s actual demonstrated classroom performance.

Join us for a discussion as policy leaders consider a new paper by Dan Goldhaber that suggests that compensation is a key workforce policy that holds promise for education reform aimed at improving student performance. Goldhaber explores research findings on teachers’ responsiveness to monetary incentives as well as significant obstacles facing policymakers who wish to use compensation as a tool for influencing the quality of the teacher workforce. His paper argues that pay reform holds potential and offers recommendations for those who wish to see teacher pay reforms successfully implemented.

Featured Participants:
Alice Johnson Cain, Senior Education Aide, Office of Congressman George Miller (D-CA)
Dan Goldhaber, Research Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington
Bill Raabe, Director of Collective Bargaining & Member Advocacy, National Education Association
Rachel B. Tompkins, President, Rural and Community Trust

Cynthia G. Brown, Director of Education Policy, Center for American Progress

Monday, December 11, 2006
Program: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Admission is free.
Lunch will be served at noon.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
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Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

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Alice Johnson Cain is a senior education aide to Rep. George Miller (D-CA). Rep. Miller is currently the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and he is expected to take over as chair of the committee in January 2007. Alice focuses on K-12 education, including the No Child Left Behind Act and teacher quality issues. In addition to advising Rep. Miller, she serves as a resource on NCLB to the committee’s other 20 Democratic Members of Congress and their staff members. Cain has 17 years of experience in education policy. She spent six years in the Clinton administration, both directing the policy office at the National Institute for Literacy and detailed to Vice President Gore’s national commission to improve workforce skills. She has also worked for Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL) on the Senate HELP Committee and at the Children’s Defense Fund, where she organized grassroots lobbying for policies to help poor, minority, and disabled children. She recently spent a year in New Zealand on a public policy fellowship, where she worked at the Ministry of Education and Department of Labour. She has spent many years as an adult literacy tutor and teaching GED classes to high school dropouts and recent immigrants.

Dan Goldhaber is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs, an Affiliated Scholar of the Urban Institute’s Education Policy Center, and Senior Non-resident Fellow of Education Sector. Dr. Goldhaber previously served as an elected member of the Alexandria City School Board from 1997-2002. Dr. Goldhaber’s research focuses on issues of educational productivity and reform at the K-12 level, and the relationship between teacher labor markets and teacher quality. Topics of published work in these areas include studies of the effects of teacher qualifications and quality on student achievement; the impact of teacher pay structure and licensure on the teacher labor market; the relative efficiency of public and private schools; the role of community colleges in higher education; and the effects of accountability systems and market competition on K-12 schooling. His research has been published in leading economic and education journals such as The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Urban Economics, Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Joyce Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and numerous other private foundations. Dr. Goldhaber holds degrees from the University of Vermont (B.A., Economics) and Cornell University (M.S. and Ph.D., Labor Economics).

Bill Raabe is NEA’s Director of Collective Bargaining & Member Advocacy (CB&MA). In this position he is responsible for leading the Association’s efforts in the areas of Collective Bargaining, Compensation, Health Care, and Retirement Benefits. In addition, he oversees the administration of NEA’s Legal Services Program, Educators Employment Liability Insurance, Fidelity Bond, Association Professional Liability, and Attorney Referral Program. Raabe’s career with the Association includes time spent as a local leader, state affiliate staff, the Director of Collective Bargaining in his home state NEA Affiliate, Education Minnesota, and the Manager of NEA’s training division. In these positions he has bargained hundreds of school employee contracts using traditional and interest-based processes, advocated for school employees at the local and legislative level, researched school employee compensation and compensation strategies, and authored articles on the use of collective bargaining to improve teaching and learning conditions and student achievement. Raabe has a degree in education, spent seven years in the classroom, and completed his graduate work in the areas of school finance, school business management, and the conditions of quality teaching and learning.

Rachel Tompkins is President of the Rural School and Community Trust (Rural Trust), the premier national nonprofit organization addressing the crucial relationship between good schools and thriving rural communities. Working in some of the poorest, most challenging rural places, the Rural Trust involves young people in learning linked to their communities, improves the quality of teaching and school leadership, advocates for appropriate state educational policies, and addresses the critical issue of funding for rural schools. Previously, Tompkins served as Adviser to West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton, Associate Provost for Extension and Economic Development, Director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and Professor of Community Economic Development at West Virginia University. She was also Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund and Executive Director of the Citizen’s Council for Ohio Schools. She has degrees from West Virginia University, Syracuse University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Cynthia G. Brown is Director of Education Policy at the Center for American Progress. She has also served as Director of the Renewing our Schools, Securing our Future National Task Force on Public Education, a joint initiative of the Center and the Institute for America’s Future. Cindy has spent over 35 years working in a variety of professional positions addressing high-quality, equitable public education. Prior to joining the Center for American Progress, she was an independent education consultant who advised and wrote for local and state school systems, education associations, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and a corporation. From 1986 to 2001, Brown served as director of the Resource Center on Educational Equity of the Council of Chief State School Officers. She was appointed by President Carter as the first assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education (1980). Prior to that position, she served as principal deputy of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s (HEW) Office for Civil Rights. Subsequent to this government service, she was co-director of the nonprofit Equality Center. Before the Carter administration, she worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, the Children’s Defense Fund, and began her career in the HEW Office for Civil Rights as an investigator. Brown has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a B.A. from Oberlin College. She serves as chair of both the Institute for Responsive Education and American Youth Policy Forum Boards of Directors and on the Boards of Directors of the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School and the National Association for Teen Fitness and Exercise.