|Numerous State experiments have demonstrated that reform of a teacher career ladder is difficult and should not be done lightly, because reform of any part of these systems requires reform or alignment of all elements of teacher compensation (Burns & Gardner, 2010; Cornett & Gaines 2002). We argue here that the difficulties of a comprehensive change in Kentucky’s existing teacher compensation system notwithstanding, we have sufficient reason to make such a change. The reasons for making a change at this time are:
- The high and increasing cost of graduate education makes continuation of the existing step and lane system untenable.
- Recent advances in what is known about teacher competencies imply a much more attractive approach to teacher compensation.
- The results of teacher compensation experiments in other States provide considerable guidance both in avoiding known hazards, and identifying likely benefits, of teacher compensation policy options.