Writing my way through the school year!


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!


Comments on: "Merit Pay for Teachers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bribe!" (9)

  1. Renee Hale said:

    You know the coaches are going to get increases despite test scores.

  2. Reblogged this on okeducationtruths and commented:
    Coming soon, to a school district near you!

  3. QUOTE: I am amazed by what people (non-educators) come up with in order to hold teachers “accountable.”

    I never had kids in my first marriage of 23 years. BUT… I was teaching kids during all that time which I thought (ha ha ha) made ME a parenting expert. Oh, the things I *KNEW*… the advice I so generously gave!

    Fast forward a couple of decades. At 55 years old I remarried and had an ‘instant family’; two step-daughters, now ages 15 and 8. I don’t give out parenting advice any more. Now when a parent has a question or concern, I put my arms around them and try to console them as much as possible, muttering under my breath, “I know… oh God, I KNOW!”


    “Walk a mile in my shoes”, BEFORE giving advice, making and IMPLEMENTING those wonderful suggestions. If it’s any consolation, I can vouch for the fact that another famous old saying is absolutely true, “What goes around comes around!” They WILL get theirs eventually! I certainly got mine… (but did I really deserve ALL this?)

    All the best from Toronto,

  4. Wendy Bailey said:

    Hmmm… I agree with you about merit pay. If we were paid based on how our students performed on “the test”, then we’d all be knocking down doors for a job in those districts that had little to no Title I campuses and whose students come from a higher social economic status. Who in their right mind, lover of education and students or not, would choose to work in the in the inner city schools or any Title I campus for that matter?

    But, on the flip side, it sure is disheartening for me to see teachers who stay until 5 sometimes 6 p.m. each day (of their own accord), getting caught up on paperwork, and preparing for the next day because their 8 – 3 job consisted of engaging learners. It boggles my mind to see many teachers walking out the door with their students when the school day is done. You begin to realize that real teaching isn’t taking place in many classrooms, as it is impossible to do the required paperwork, grade papers, input grades into the online grade book, plan appropriate lesson plans in differentiated instruction as well as set up the next day’s workstations and be able to walk out the door at 3:00!!

    So, it is quite the dilemma when you want to “reward” teachers for going above and beyond for their students. We all know that in the real world, great employees are rewarded for their performance with a raise. This should hold true to educators. I’m just not sure tying it to someone else’s performance (the kids) is the right way to go about providing merit pay. Merit pay should be based on what the teacher is doing in her classroom on a day to day basis for the students learning.

  5. Let us try to put this whole idea of merit pay into a slightly different perspective. Let us first stop even pretending that anyone with a reasonable amount of education and understanding about how children learn and how teachers teach had anything at all to do with it. Merit pay was not creted by educational experts trying to improve instruction (teaching and learning). It was created by persons who,for their own reasons, had axes to grind with the public schools. These are people who either benefit financially or professionally from the demise of public education or who harbor resentment for teachers because of their own performance in life.

    There are many who stand to benefit financially or professionally if there is a decline in public education. There are millionaires who will benefit from creating for profit schools funded with taxpayer money through voucher or other systems that transfer taxes collected for schools to private hands. There is a huge amount of money out there and there are many who want to grab as much of it as possible. They care nothing about educating children only about increasing profits. Another group that benefits from the demise of public schools is the group of lackeys bought to pass laws favorble to the millionaires. They pander to the groujps described below to get elected so they can support the wealthy elite.

    There ar those too who did poorly in public schools and resent the success of those who did well. They especially want to blame teachers for their own shortcomings. It is the fault of their teachers that they did not learn more, did not go to college and are stuck in unsatisfying and insecure jobs. Just as they avoided responsibility in school they seek to avoid it as adults.. Teachers get a double dose of their resentment.

    They want to blame the teachers they had for their own failures. After all, if those teachers had done a better job their former students would be better educated. They also resent today’s teachers because they have what the failed students do not have. They have respect and dignity and professional ethics and pride. The resentful ones know they could have done just as well as today’s teachers had they tried harder in school. They know they can never earn the prestige and adoration deserved by teachers. They can’t have it but they can try to deny it to todays teachers. To do this they support every scheme for undermining schools and teachers that comes along. “If I can’t have it I will feel bettr if I keep someone else from having it.”

    Educators need to show enough courage to engage in civil disobedience calling attention to the travesty that is taking place in the destruction of the whole system of public education!

  6. Doris Riley said:

    I hope and pray that things change. Many of my peers are leaving the teaching field because of all th unfair things being done to educators. The new teachers burn out so quickly until it makes my head spin. I have been an educator for over 26 years. I know my mentors are rolling over in their graves. I think all the decision makers should have to teach for a month. Maybe their song would change. Hang in there and pray for the children.

  7. Ken Bridges said:

    All of the substantive research on “Value Added” evaluation models, i.e., Colorado SB 191 and other test-related evaluation legislation, is antagonistic to the notion. The bottom line is that we have a corporation-driven, business and industry-focused education system that is not foucsed on quality teaching and learning—real learning, but rather on generating profits for corporation and worker bees for business and industry. The countries that are kicking butt on education are teaching concepts (not inert facts and grill and drill scenarios for testing) and elevating teachers to status positions in the society. We are going the opposite direction, and people wonder why we are ranked in the mid 20s in world-wide education rankings.

  8. […] Merit Pay for Teachers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bribe! (oldschoolteach.wordpress.com) […]

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