merit pay

Discussion in 'General Education' started by jspader02, May 5, 2009.

  1. jspader02

    jspader02 Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    i don't really know much about it or how it works, but i do wonder...

    do art/music/gym teachers receive merit pay? how is this calculated? how can you determine that they have raised student's test scores?

    if they don't receive it, how is it fair that all teachers in the district have that opportunity?

    does anyone work at a school that has merit pay? is it successful/unsuccessful?
     
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  3. SoCal_Sub

    SoCal_Sub Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    In the private sector, if you bring in profits, clients or get projects done successfully, you deserve to get promoted or given a raise. It should be no different in the public sector.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have a merit pay program in place. Here are the particular details about ours. Art, PE, and Music receive their ratings based on the overall scores of the school's Reading grades. ESE teachers receive their schools based on the grade level standardized scores of their students (who wouldn't be ESE if they were on grade level!). Due to these factors, and more, the program is not popular with those groups of teachers. Last year they gave $2000 to half of the people who earned merit pay and the other half received nothing.
     
  5. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    This has been a growing controversy in DC as well... at least I think with the specials teachers. The chancellor is trying to get merit pay rolling and that's always been my big question. As the music teacher, where do I stand?

    From my understanding it will be a combination of factors, including informal and formal observations, special projects (art shows, concerts, etc) and how the school does on testing overall. I could be completely wrong on that... but I thought that's how someone explained it to me.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 6, 2009

    beckysue- is it based on the grade level they should be on, or the grade level their on?


    We don't have merit pay in the districts I'm applying to.
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    We currently don't have merit pay, but will be going to a special version that is funded by local companies in 2 years.
    Everyone (teachers, special class teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc...) will get a part of the bonus. It is based on your current students growth, whether they meet their goal, your grade levels growth, your schools growth, and observations. Due to the observations, how much each teacher gets as their bonus cannot be published.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We have had it the past few years now and it's really polarized teachers (the fact that the local newspaper prints the amounts received next to the teachers' names and even has a search engine where parents can look up their child's teacher to see if they are one of the "good" ones doesn't help much).

    At our school - teachers in 1st -5th Grade are eligible for an amount based on their students' progress this year compared to their test scores last year. We also have an overall school rating-with that we are compared to other schools in our demographic - the top 10 schools received another amount which is distributed semi-evenly among teachers including specials teachers, administration, the nurse, etc. People on our campus even disagree about that.

    Personally I think as a campus we all work together and if the school succeeds it's because of the sum of all the parts. I don't like however, that no matter how hard I work my students' progress is not measurable (they take no standardized test before Kinder, only in Kinder - nothing to compare it to). I have no control over my own bonus and I'm considered one of the less-effective teachers by the media who fail to report some teachers are ineligible because of the system.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Our ESE children are required to take the standardized assessments for the grade level they are in...not according to their ability. Most of mine are 3 or more grade levels below in ability. For example, I have a child in 5th grade who is working on a 1st grade level but he had to take the 5th grade test.
     
  10. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    I really hate the idea of being paid this way. It turns education into a competition like car salesmen! lol Teachers know what we need to help improve our students education...will it happen? hardly.


    I know the value of the arts, but it's not something that has a right or wrong answer. Well certain things do! haha I just gave my 4th graders tests this past week. We also see all of the kids in the building or buildings. In my district b/c of the populations of buildings and building enrollment, our buildings get paired together accorindg to thenumbers that we can teach in a week. If the numbers line up, we get to stay at our two sometimes three different buildings. A longevity merit system wouldn't work b/c we aren't always at the same buildings year after year to build our program.
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    I think it should be applied to ALL professions...


    We should start with politicians. Give them minimal pay and base their merrit pay on (1) their ability to balance the freaking budget, (2) the success or failure of the programs that they endorse, and (3) the performance of the American economy as a whole.
     
  12. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    Aside from some of the important points the previous posters brought up, if your classes are stocked with all of the bottom-feeders of the school, you have no chance. If, however, you get all of the honors and advanced-placement students, you'll look like the "Teacher of the Year" every blessed time!
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I love this and agree 100%!

    I have identified gifted kids who come in scoring in the 90-99th percentile, they're not going to show and growth. So, do I automatically get big merit pay and have all the other teachers hate me? I just hate the whole concept.
     
  14. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Teachers need to realize it is a bone thrown their way because they are not gonna pay most of us what we are worth. This way the law makers can say to the rest of society, "See, we are only rewarding the best teachers and not those slackers we all hear about". It is also from that industry mindset of raw material in, product out. Too bad our raw material is not uniform. I hate that non-educators get to tell us what to do when they have NO CLUE...............off the soap box now.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 7, 2009

    It's worth pointing out, however, that it's the non-educators' taxes that pay most teachers' salaries.
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    May 7, 2009

    I just gave my dentist over $1000 yesterday but would not think
    of telling her how to do her job. Our problem is everyone goes to school (that sounds dumb actually) and so everyone knows how to run a school. Pair that with newly elected officials that believe they are now educations experts and you have a recipe for disaster/chaos/TONS more paperwork for teachers......
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 7, 2009

    The parallel's not particularly apt: if you don't like something about the dentist, be it never so trivial, you have the option to stop seeing that dentist and find another, and you won't be out of pocket more than the cost of a couple of office visits. In contrast, the taxes flow to the public schools even when one hasn't got a kid in them. Is it so surprising that that would rankle? What's more, We The People do in fact tell doctors how to do their jobs: that's what state medical boards are for.

    In any case, whether or not the public perception of teachers is fair is not very interesting. What's important is that the public perception is what it is, because that's what the profession is up against.

    The only hope of stopping proposals for merit pay is to understand the issues from which they arise and to come up with a better alternative.
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 7, 2009

    I know you threw this out as sort of a half-joke, but the comparison has some merit. Consider what form the politician's objections to this would take.

    They'd point out that they inherit a certain economy or state of affairs from predecessors -- they have no control over the raw materials, after all.

    They'd say others are responsible -- unions, corporations, parents, taxpayers, other countries -- for at least some of the issues.

    They would say the ability to balance the freaking budget is just a shallow standardized measure that doesn't take into account their worth as politicians or recognize that the aforementioned others are partially responsible for that budget.

    They'd say that the definition of success or failure is flexible, based on numerous measures, some qualitative and not easily measured in terms of numbers. I've seen numerous objective failures declared as successes.

    These objections are extremely similar to what teachers object to right now regarding merit pay and a fair evaluation. For politicians, they don't like evaluations because they're invariably based on what the media says about them, and their constituents ability to discern the media's bias. For teachers -- well, from the perspective of those they serve, there is no evaluation. When politicians turn around and suggest allowing parents to vote for those they think should be allowed to be teachers, are you willing to go along with that?
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    May 7, 2009

    3 Sons - that's a very funny comparison (sadly, it's funny).

    I have to agree with Hoot Owl on the advanced kids. We actually had a teacher who taught a g/t class for 15 years and won't do it anymore because she is never eligible for a bonus. Her kids come into 1st Grade reading on a 4th Grade level, so she would be required to take them to almost a 6th Grade level to show progress.

    Also, schools can manipulate the system. They can tank scores one year and drop a level. Work their tails off the next year rise 2 levels and score a $6,000 (per teacher) bonus. That money is worth it to some people (I could never do it - I'm too honest). We were actually asked by the grade level above us (since we are ineligible for the pay anyway) to not teach the kids the things on the test. That way, they would have more low scores and they wouldn't have to work as hard the next year. Of course, we refused - but it just goes to show, the progress on paper is not always valid.
     

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