Merit Pay - what do you think?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ku_alum, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Feb 18, 2009
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    Mar 21, 2010

    I don't get to choose the classes I teach. Some years I get high ability groups, other years I don't (We group by ability in the UK).
    Who does the judgeing and who sets the standards?

    Not only does merit come into it. What about expertise? In the UK we have Phys Ed teachers coming out of the woodwork but can't get physicists for love nor money. We have a standard pay scale so everyone gets paid on the same scale according to length of service.

    Should a Physics teacher get paid more because they are rare?
  2. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Jul 28, 2007
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    Mar 21, 2010

    Well, opening up a can of worms here, but let's examine what has happened in Atlanta City Public Schools recently. If the school made AYP last year, the administrators got a cash bonus and lots of praise and recognition. Teachers were blasted if their classrooms didn't score high enough.

    It's hard to not relate that to the testing scandal this year in which a tremendous number of classrooms had answers erased on the state test so that a large percentage of students passed. Now, I can't say yet why that happened, and who did the erasing during the past year's test, but connect the dots. Reputation on the line + lots of cash + lots of praise for doing a great job + possible firing and demotion = cheating. And I strongly suspect it wasn't the teachers doing the erasing. Not the way the testing security is set up for the state. Almost all of the posts in the Atlanta Journal agree that it looks like administrators are suspect.

    One fact is that four administrators admitted changing answers two years ago. One described how he sat there in the office on the weekend and looked over the retest answers that students had taken. (They hadn't passed the first time, so they had to retake it during summer school.) The principal said to the vice principal something about looks like they weren't going to make AYP. So he picked up an eraser and started in with the first test while the AP called out the correct answers. That exchange is on a court document.

    So, how do I feel about merit pay? Absolutely not a good idea. Not just not feasible, but dangling money and possible loss of careers in front of educators is crazy.

    Yes, I know. No amount of money is worth the lack of honor for most teachers. I truly believe that. But.

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