Wednesday, August 11, 2004
PROS• Merit pay raises the professionalism bar because teachers are evaluated based on the effectiveness of other teachers.
• It gives principals the authority to make smart hiring and firing decisions.
•Merit pay has arguably seen success in North Carolina, Chattanooga, Dallas and Denver schools.
• Raising the pay levels of the best teachers is key to meeting the challenges, legal and otherwise, of improving schools.
• Rewarding quality teaching will attract the best and the brightest to the profession.
• Research regularly shows that merit pay doesn't improve teachers' classroom work, and can divide, and add negativity and distrust, to a school's teaching community.
• Merit pay isn't fair: How can you reward one teacher for advances made by a student who has had many teachers? How can you know exactly how each teacher contributed to the student's success?
• Merit pay will contribute to more competition and less teamwork among teachers.
• Teachers don't tend to be money-driven, although they enjoy larger paychecks. A 2000 Public Agenda survey of 900 new teachers found that other considerations are "significantly more important" to most educators.
• There are ways to achieve the same goals, such as "[r]ewarding teachers based on added responsibilities, team leadership, mentorship, and the like, is a form of compensation that recognizes teacher effort without the deleterious effects of merit pay," Scholastic Administrator states.
This list was partially adapted from Scholastic Administrator (scholastic.com).