Saturday, June 9, 2012

Merit Pay:We Don't Need No Stinkin' Bribe!

COMING SOON?And you know they would! :) Merit pay, how realistic is it that our pay could actually be tied to test scores? Very realistic!

 What is merit pay?  Noun :extra pay awarded to an employee on the basis of merit (especially to school teachers)

 What "think tank" thought up this idea, maybe the same one that stated that smaller class size doesn't matter? I am amazed by what people (non-educators) come up with in order to hold teachers "accountable." Or is it to make sure that the "better" teachers get what they deserve? No matter the reasoning behind this premise, it is ridiculous!   I know it probably sounded like a good idea, but it is difficult to come up with criteria in the education field that would allow this idea to work. Tie our pay to test scores? Are all students equal? I don't think so. If that was the case, why would we need differentiated instruction?

If Teacher A works  in a school with struggling students and Teacher B works in a school with high achievers, does that make Teacher B a teacher who is deserving of merit pay, and Teacher A is not?

 If Teacher A and B engage their students, and provide ample opportunities for their students to learn, but Teacher B has enough students that pass the test, does this mean Teacher B is a better teacher?

 Or what if Teacher B does nothing but teach to the test, while Teacher A works to establish a well-rounded student?  Is Teacher B going to get paid more if more of his/her students pass? I believe that most teachers are dedicated, hard-working people, who don't need to be "bribed" to do their job. Teachers don't do what they do for money, that is obvious from the salaries we make.

 I partially agree with Arne Duncan, teachers should be paid up to $150,00. But pay them for all that they do, not because their students scored high enough on a test!

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