Performance based compensation?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by teacherguy111, Aug 14, 2013.

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  1. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    The author would actually say its the exact opposite(my interpretation). That your focus has been narrowed, creativity would drop, as you have set your sights on the doubled salary, not the actual teaching. The book gives many good examples, that absolutely rang true to me. What you describe, the author spends page upon page explaining why he thinks its the exact opposite.

    I would say a major premise of the entire book is based on this very example you give.

    Before I read the book, I would probably have responded EXACTLY as you are.

    Read the book, it talks EXACTLY about this. I cannot do the book justice, I have only read it once, it will likely be a book I reread every year.
     
  2. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    I've set my focus on the goals that have been identified as important for the organization.

    Money absolutely is a motivator; however, nobody is claiming that it should be the only incentive. Anyone claiming money can't be an incentive is myopic in their view of how incentives work and their economic impacts.
     
  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is my question as well. I feel like this system will also make teachers leave low income schools and head to higher income, higher achieving schools, when the low income schools REALLY need good teachers. That's not good for anybody.
     
  4. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Which is why growth models, not normative models, are used.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Exactly, and the book addresses that. If you are really interested in it(this topic and conversation), read the book and we can message each other all day about it. I love the conversation.

    In fact I would love for you to challenge my thinking on it so much that I may actually change my mind about it. The book addresses every point you are making.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Not in my state. It's based on pass/fail for standardized test scores. It is based on growth from the previous year, but only growth of how many kids passed, not growth on individual scores. Let's say to pass the reading test you need a score of 465. Johnny gets a score of 312 in 3rd grade, and then gets a 440 in 4th grade. That's huge growth, but he still failed the test both years and he would count negatively toward the 4th grade teacher's rating.
     
  7. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Then the model needs tweaked, not thrown out; this is the problem teachers and their unions are failing to understand. If cooperation on performance-based pay was an option, we'd get much better systems that would benefit everyone. It's the dichotomous thinking of "state merit pay system" and "no merit pay system" that's so destructive. Of course, with the political influence on education nowadays, it's not a surprise to see such dichotomies being created.
     
  8. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Yep unfortunately it does that too. If you are deemed "ineffective" for a period of time 2+ years, you are 'frozen' at your current pay or terminated.
     
  9. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    What state do you work in, out of curiosity?
     
  10. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    VA opted out of NCLB. Our new evaluations went into effect last year. It consists of 7 main areas - 6 of which were already there (subject knowledge, classroom management, etc.). That accounts for 60% of our evaluation. The other 40% is tied into our smart goals. We state 1-3 goals each year. They have to be concise and measurable, and we use a specific group of students ( a class, a sub-group, etc.). An example would be: All students in my X class who scored at the 10% level in Dibels will improve to a minimum of 25%. Those who are at the 25% will increase to at least the 50% level. Those at 75% and above will continue to increase their level by a minimum of 10%.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I have never used Dibels, so I am not sure what it is., but who does the assessments that determines whether as a class you met your smart goals?
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    That doesn't always matter. Let's say a kid tests Far Below Basic in 3rd grade. They are clearly WAY below grade level. Then, they go and take the 4th grade test the next year. It is unlikely that the teacher could have gotten a 4th grader who came in reading at say, 1st grade level, to be able to successfully take a test that's even harder than last year's, which was also too hard for the student. This is why schools often target the kids who are hovering just below proficient - it's easier to bring them up than it is to bring up the VERY low kids. There is definitely room for improvement, and improvement does take place. But say you have a situation like my mom's - she teaches an intervention class of 4th and 5th graders. Her kids all come in at PreK-2nd grade level. More than half of her kids have IEPs, but few of them qualify to take the modified state assessment for special education students. Many of her kids do make amazing growth through the course of the year, but is it enough? Politicians and powers that be don't see the minutiae. They just see numbers. And numbers don't always tell the whole story.

    dave1mo, are you a teacher? Your response to me doesn't make me ask that question, but other responses you've posted on here make me curious.
     
  13. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    A growth model measures growth, not passing/not passing on a test.

    What makes you think that I don't teach?
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Are you refusing to answer the question? It was a reasonable question.
     
  15. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    A request for an explanation of the question is reasonable as well.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If I'm reading my new teacher evaluation correctly, I was right that 50% of my evaluation will be determined by student performance and improvement. Hoping what I've been doing will be what works.
     
  17. Rainbowbird

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    I agree. They tried it in Britain many years ago and abandoned the idea.

    The video is great!

    I couldn't possibly work any harder as a teacher, and neither could my colleagues. At least, not without completely running ourselves into the ground and completely neglecting our personal lives, which happens enough already. And if we had been motivated by money, we wouldn't have gone into teaching in the first place.
     
  18. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    My point was that students can't demonstrate very much growth on state assessments if they are so far below grade level that they can't show marked improvement on a test that just keeps getting more difficult every year.

    I didn't say I think you don't teach. I'm just curious because most teachers are not in favor of merit pay, and it seems that you are. I wasn't accusing you, just curious. I would be interested to hear from a teacher that believes in merit pay and has seen some benefits from it.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I believe what he meant was you would have to tweak how it is done so that the test COULD measure growth for all students. That maybe one test does not fit all.

    With regards to merit pay, as a teacher I see why I would want it. I want to see effective teachers rewarded, so the allure of merit pay initially makes sense. I think we have a problem with ineffective teachers in our system. Every teacher I know either says they work their hardest or actually do, their hearts are in the right spot, great strategies, great classroom management...etc, none of which means they are EFFECTIVE. We need more effective teachers.

    Instead of merit pay, I think we should have discussions on how we define an effective teacher. How do we know if a teacher is effective. Then start removing ineffective ones.
     
  20. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I agree, but the obvious problem with that is that no one can agree on what teacher effectiveness looks like. Like I said in my OP, my district has started paying out the merit pay because our Union demanded it, but the Union and the district have not been able to agree upon how to asses teacher effectiveness. The district wants it to be a mix of teacher evaluations and test scores. For the test scores portion, a Value-Added Model will be used for teachers that teach a "testable subject" (all grades 2 - 8 Language Arts and Math teachers and any HS teacher that teachers an HSA course). All teachers teaching a "non-testable subject" (about 45% of our teachers) will use a Student Learning Objective model.

    I am my school's rep for the SLOs because I taught MS Social Studies which is not tested, so I have sat at day-long meetings where this issue was discussed/argued. It is basically the district's Teacher Evaluation reps telling an audience of over 300 SLO teacher reps what the district wants teacher evals to look like and then the SLO reps questioning and arguing basically every point. Nightmare. AND, SLO reps are not even representing those teachers who are part of the VAM side.

    The district reps made the point that test scores and growth rates are measurable statistics that lead to a definite answer of whether you met your target - like in any business model which holds its' employees accountable; anything else is subjective. I agree with this to an extent. While using a VAM or SLOs is full of problems, so is any system where someone else evaluates you based on their personal observations.
     
  21. chrissy1214phx

    chrissy1214phx Rookie

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    my school does this year............ I'm new and panicked.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yep, I agree. I think all teachers need to ask themselves this question. I made a forum post about it and it got like 2 replies with different "methods", its a tough question, but one we should answer.
     
  23. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2013

    DC
     
  24. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    1) That's a problem with the assessment; also, part of my review is my collection of use and data, which includes aspects of student ability such as reading and writing level as rigorously and validly measured by a variety of measurement tools. It's my job to prove student growth, and I don't have a problem with it; I'm a teacher.

    2)I'm in favor of merit pay because I look around at some of my peers and see them refusing to adopt best practices because they "know what's best for the students" without being able to prove it with data or anything stronger than anecdotal evidence. Merit pay probably doesn't cause teachers to work "harder" in most cases (though the people who claim ALL teachers are hard-working and dedicated to their craft are as guilty as the logical fallacy of "argument from omniscience" as those who say NO teachers are hard-working and dedicated). What merit pay SHOULD do is force teachers to adopt best practices that are proven to improve student achievement. In other words, just because performance-based pay doesn't cause someone to work harder doesn't mean it won't cause someone to work smarter/more efficiently to get results.

    However, merit pay MUST result in highly effective teachers making significantly more than ineffective teachers; if the ONLY incentive is for you to "not be bad at your job" in order to keep it, and there's no positive incentive for being great at your job, you're merely "rewarding" mediocrity.
     
  25. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Keep data records, be able to give the rational behind what you're doing in post-observation meetings, don't be afraid to sell yourself during said meetings, but don't be afraid to admit when there's an area you feel you can improve upon; it's really not that scary.
     
  26. Rainbowbird

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    My incentive is to educate my students and create motivated, creative, and excited learners who achieve their best. I don't need extra money and I don't give a darn about merit pay.

    An obsession with data = getting into teaching for all the wrong reasons.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    :agreed:
     
  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I'm am not really in favor of merit pay as we have discussed this a bit, however, spot on for the rest.

    I don't think it's just about best practices as far as teaching strategies go. I know many teachers that use "best practices" but are not really very effective.

    The system itself is supporting poor teacher development. Many districts are mandating what they want to see specifically from teachers. For example, posting common core standards for the students to see, think-pair-share, collaborative work, weekly goal boards, compare and contrast...etc. They are mandating that they see these things in the classroom on walk throughs, they are check offs for admin. Well guess what? When you treat these things as check offs, so do teachers, and they become ineffective.

    Teachers should be mandated less on specific "things" and be given more PD to look at different methods of reaching the same goals, then let professional teachers choose which ones, how, and when they are going to use them. For example, teachers should be exposed through trainings on why posting standards for students is important, they should come to believe in it over time, if it is just a check off because they have to do it...it is ineffective and won't work regardless of it's best practice.

    I know other teachers who may not use the best practices, but due to their relationships with their students, those students will jump off a bridge to try to learn what their teacher is "teaching" them. Some teachers know how to guide students to feeling sucessful academically or raising students self esteem. I have never taken a PD course, let alone courses, based on these attributes. Which honestly, I feel are far more effective at helping students learn than things like Marzano strategies that work.

    Teaching is really an art form, I think Marzano is wrong when he says it is a science.
     
  29. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Student achievement is linked to our evaluations this year (33%), depending on the data from the previous years tests. Everyone gets the same score for student achievement in the whole school- so it is an overall "how well did the students do in your school" grade. We moved from a B to an A school, so it's a positive for everyone.

    The whole state has to include student achievement into their evaluations. Ours is at the lowest percentage that it can be- 33%, but it can go up to 50% if you wanted.
     
  30. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Not always so. Here is one example (although I could give lots). A few days ago, I was with a friend who has children. He and his wife had his children in a school with an "A" rating. He and his wife pulled his children out of this "A" rated school and sent them to a charter school. He, his wife, and his children couldn't be happier. He is a good parent and his children are bright. The teachers kept teaching them things they already knew over and over and refused to challenge them. They constantly had test prep practice for homework and in the class.

    At this new school, the children are challenged, they are learning more, and have more projects. There instruction is more focused on the the needs of each child. So this "A" rating isn't worth much. It just shows, students can do better on tests.
     
  31. Rainbowbird

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    Or just do what Bush did in Texas. Lower the bar so everybody looks smarter. Problem solved, right? After all, the data showed that students achieved more!
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Or better yet, avoid any form of assessment, so no one has any idea how any one is doing.
     
  33. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    1) If you don't care about money, why aren't you doing your job for minimum wage? If you did that, they could use the money towards more resources for the children!

    2) Who mentioned an obsession with data? I got into teaching because I'm passionate about improving the lives of students who frequently don't get a fair shake in the rest of their lives; that's why I teach solely in general education/inclusion settings.

    How do I know if I'm improving their lives? I know I'm improving their lives when I help them master skills that they'll need out in the real world. How do I know they're mastering the skills?

    Data. It's a tool, just like my classroom management skills and ability to create thought-provoking questions on readings are tools. Your apparent fear of data and what it can be used for is concerning.
     
  34. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    I agree that best practices are meaningless when teachers aren't given the rationale behind them or are forced to jump through hooks in the empty name of "best practices." I disagree that all teachers will jump at the thought of spending more PD days and time learning best practices simply because it's what's best for the kids; I meet teachers constantly who are not interested in growing professionally or mastering new skills. This is where incentives come into play.
     
  35. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am sorry if I gave the impression teachers would jump at PD days. Most teachers do not, you are 100% right. However, most of what I consider "effective" teachers where I work, do jump at the right PD opportunities.

    You are right, something has to change in how teachers are motivated, given incentives, released from teaching,...etc. Many many teachers feel they have reached their pinnacle.
     
  36. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    For real! I find most PD to be a complete waste of time. Do you know how many common core workshops I had to sit through last year where the same presenter basically told us the exact same thing every time. I'm not dumb...I get it.

    There are a couple of people who do great PD and I will always go to their stuff if I can but a lot of it is crap and there are better things to do with my time.
     
  37. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Dave,

    Since I said I agreed with the post, I feel a need to respond to your criticism.

    Yes, you are right. Teachers like more money over less money-duh! We don't work for minimum wage because we would lose our houses, cars, and other somewhat necessary items to exist. I do choose to spend hundreds of dollars on my classroom and students so I guess $$$ isn't much.

    The whole problem is that who is MOST motivated by money. Good teachers or poor teachers???? Wouldn't you say the teachers who are in teaching who don't care about children and are into their paycheck might be a bit more motivated by money then the outstanding teacher who spends $2000 of her own money on her classroom?

    Yes, you are right money motivates...even teachers. Those who will be most motivated to go after that money and cut corners on doing their jobs to get it are poor teachers. This is partially why performance pay doesn't work.

    I saw this in reality. A former P of mine, offered a bonus to us as teachers if we did something to get $$$ from a publishing company that was poor for children and highly unethical. Although we were in shock, most teachers voted for it as it would get them more $$$ quickly. Those teachers who voted against it were our best teachers. (By the way, it never happened as the school board got wind of it and chewed out the P big time.)
     
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