If merit pay is based on test scores, I think it will be unfair and simply wrong. Students come with a variety of different backgrounds. Usually one teacher on a grade level will have the special education cluster, which can contain up to 9 students who are struggling academically. Another teacher may have the gifted group who are all high achievers. And still another will have the majority of students with behavioral or emotional issues. Merit pay will not be an incentive in this setting.
If teacher's pay or job is on the line, I believe we would have teachers that would stand up to Union and Political BS instead of passively accepting their rules. Teachers that would stand up to a curriculum that actually teaches our kids instead educational philosophy that confuses them and leads to group think.
It would be hard at first, but once one teacher stands up to the politicians others would follow and they would eventually be able to take profession back. :-)
There are risks that some might cut corners and teach tests to kids in order to make higher test scores. I suppose those of us who have taught many years, may well have seen just such behavior, though not always rampant in our systems. There should be pay to teachers that merit their responsibilities of caring for, and for the greatest of all jobs, in teaching children, so that they may be prepared to face life with all the ammunition possible. There should never be an increase in pay because one teacher is more effective than another. All should receive a fair salary and accept the responsibility in performing the necessary work the job requires.This is why there is such scrutiny and judgement passed over every teacher in every system in the country. The public demands it. Most teachers are very well supervised and overseen by principals and assistants in the systems so that they do a decent job in teaching kids.In 1970 I was paid a check of 400.00 dollars for a month's work. I went hungry several weeks and often got food poisoning because I had to eat spoiled foods. I worked as hard or harder than most in my profession. Have merit pay when all salaries are at appropriate levels so that a teacher and family can survive. The cost of living always seemed just beyond my grasp in teaching for more than twenty years.
The pros? I cannot think of any pros to continuing to model education after business and turning educators into producers of the educated, instead of people who love learning and sharing their knowledge. The failure of education is the failure of culture to see the intrinsic value of education. American primary education is a reflection of this culture of kitsch. There is little substance and thoughtfulness in the curriculum and the teachers are not professors or experts in some academic field. Teachers are the propaganda machines, the pillars of orthodoxy, and the managers/controllers of the milieu. Everything in schools is about “appearance” of substance and merit based pay makes teaching even more pragmatic and reduces education to a vocational model. In addition, I think there is a significant difficulty to quantifying what a good teacher is, is it knowledge, presentation, love of learning, classroom management, student outcomes, grades, or student achievement? I have taught at university and currently work in primary schools (K-12) and determining what or who is a good teacher is so seriously subjective and political it makes little sense without getting a clearer idea what we mean by the terms. The institutions of educating our children need reform like campaign finance.
Yet, if we are really honest with ourselves merit based pay is irrelevant to the situation of repairing or altering the current state of affairs in education. What is of dire importance is asking ourselves what we are doing in education both lower and higher, in a countrywide sense. The decay of our culture is observed so easily in schools where knowledge, understanding, and loving learning are nowhere to be found. Instead, there is tension and force imposed on children; Conform, follow, and play the game. Takes tests, conform, test some more, follow, test some more. The kids are but pawns and absolute mirrors of the culture they live in. To change the deeply entrenched culture is a dark tedious task that seems as futile as trying to end the corruption in education. Nevertheless, we must challenge, question, and not accept the status quo. Pay the teacher by merit or just pay them more, it will only line their pockets; it will not change anything substantively, except the cars that they drive.
Pros: Teachers can have a higher purchasing power, i.e. they are able to afford luxury items and flaunt their lavish possessions. They will be able to afford first class airplane tickets and indulge.
Cons: This creates unhealthy competition amid teachers. As they know that they will be awarded by virtue of performance, they will coerce their students to excel in their studies and get high marks through depraved means. Most likely, these greedy teachers would not care about the students' well-being. If a student scores mediocre grades, these teachers will definitely deride them, and even let out some ugly invective. The victim will be under pressure and become depressed and suicidal. This is a not-so-conspicuous way of murdering people, causing grievous bodily, and 'mentally', harm to students.
by mysterylady 897 years ago
Should teacher pay be based on merit? If so, how should merit be determined?
by YvetteParker5 years ago
What are your thoughts? Do more teachers teach content or do they teach a test?
by mysterylady 896 years ago
If so, how should merit be determined?
by Adamowen4 years ago
Do you think test scores are a good indication of a school's competency?
by mom1016 years ago
I have been reading an older post about merit pay for teachers. In the post some were giving examples of a classroom filled with smart kids with parents who were actively involved compared to a classroom filled with...
by rkary38398 years ago
A news report stated that a majority of 4th and 8th grade students are not proficient in math skills. Our government is working to fund schools but we see little results. What do you think, read my blog. I...
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