How Ogden (and other districts) can foster excellence in teaching


Imagine a high-performing teacher in Ogden School District. This teacher takes the time to work individually with her struggling students and lets them know she cares about them. She knows the material she teaches backward and forward and has shown an amazing capacity to teach it in ways that connect with and captivate her students.

As a result, her above-average students excel on tests and her struggling students show tremendous growth on those same tests from previous years. For her excellence in teaching, she receives the same compensation as her colleague who goes through the motions in class, is unfamiliar with the material, and has students whose test scores reflect his poor efforts and teaching ability.

This is the absurdity of collective bargaining in public education.

Fortunately, the Ogden School Board had the vision and courage to set aside failed collective bargaining processes and move toward creating a performance pay plan for teachers in Ogden School District. Sutherland commends the board members for their efforts and has published specific recommendations to assist them in crafting this plan.

You can read our recommendations in the brief report below. We offer these recommendations not only for Ogden but for any district that wants to adopt a fair, workable performance pay plan.

Making Performance Pay

What do you think? Will our pay-for-performance plan work?

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  • Anonymous

    Your plan is faulty.  Usually, the overworked teacher does the best they can.  Students are ultimately the deciders of their own fate, and many in Ogden will fail regardless of the teaching effort.

    Then your overworked teacher is fired.

    Paying one group of people based on the actions of another group of people without consequences for the second group is faulty logic.

    • Derek H. Monson

      So because some teachers are overworked while doing “the best they can,” and because some children fail no matter what, we should not attempt to pay teachers based on performance?  Really?

      The reality is that success in most jobs (if not all jobs) depends to an extent on things outside of an employee’s control.  Yet, many successful organizations still find ways to encourage and reward good performance through how they pay their employees.  You haven’t giving any compelling reason why teachers should be an exception to this rule.

      • Sackdrum

        Pay for performance doesn’t work when there is no consensus on the measure for good performance.

        Furthermore, maybe the “science teacher” playing on the computer probably does so because they are being paid like a babysitter.

        My idea of pay for performance is that if we pay them, they’ll be more likely to perform.

        Excluding the altruistic, charitable teachers who go above and beyond for personal reward, Ogden school district is getting exactly what they are paying for.

    • D M

      Like the “overworked” science teacher my kids had in high school who had the class draw pictures of animals while he played video games on his computer?  Surely you are joking.

      There ARE some teachers who should NOT get paid as much as other teachers get.

      Conversely, there ARE teachers who should get MORE than most of their peers.

      Teachers are some of the most consistent at making sure THEIR kids get the RIGHT teachers.

      • Buzytwo

        Having recently retired from this district, I have a very substantial difference of opinion on what really is happening in the district. My health has improved drastically and I believe the course that they are on is unsafe for all including the children. If the adults are unsafe, then how can the children be safe.