Consider, for a moment, the Performance Management System as designed by Seattle Public Schools.
All schools get some funding and resources from the Performance Management System.
Schools with low performace or slow performance growth and deemed in need of help will get more additional funding and resources. Schools with high performance and adequate performance growth will get less additional funding and resources.
So the worse your scores, the more funding and resources you get. They reward low performance. The downside is that the Education Director decides how those funds are spent at your school. Presumably the Education Director makes the decision based on a knowledge of the school's needs.
And what is the reward for high performance? You get less money but the principal decides how it is spent. That, by the way, is the extent of "earned autonomy". That's the autonomy you can earn: the right to determine how your school's small allotment (less than $50,000) of Performance Management money is spent. And it isn't that autonomous. The principal has to choose off of a set menu.
So there isn't much upside or reward for doing well. First, you just get less money. Second, the autonomy you win isn't that autonomous. And it's kind of insulting to the professionals to think that the Education Director would spend the money in ways that are wildly different from the way the Principal would spend it, or that the Education Director would do it without any consultation with the principal.
The upside of doing poorly, however, is significant - hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Anyone regarding these incentives would teach the children as best they could, but also do whatever they could to spike the assessments. In short, encourage children and their families to opt out of the MSP or the HSPE (the tests formerly known as the WASL) so your scores are artificially bad.
It's a race to the bottom.
I don't know if this scenario will be much altered by performance pay for teachers or principals, but those folks are really much motivated by money and the performance pay for professionals shouldn't be predicated much on student test scores when there are other measures that show that the students are learning. The Performance Management scoring system for schools isn't nearly as insightful as we expect the peformance evaluation system for professionals to be.