The state senate wants to find out how to make sure teachers are worth the money they’re paid–and to make sure they are.

Senator Education Committee chairman David Pearce wants to create a joint House-Senate task force to look at teacher compensation and to see if there’s a way to link compensation with outcomes. The senate has tentatively approved his bill setting up that task force. The House will have to do it’s half of the deal later for the task force to be formed.

Pearce hopes the task force can find a way to measure teacher effectiveness. And he hopes the task force also will be able to find a way to pay high-achieving teachers a higher salary.

Pearce says some information is available to help evaluate teachers. He says MAP test scores can be broken out building by building. And he thinks school administrators have an idea of which teachers are most effective. But he wants the task force to go beyond that information and develop some new evaluation plans. If the House agrees to form the task force, it would conduct hearings during the summer and make recommendations to the legislature before the next session.

Listen to the debate 8:32 mp3