Monday, December 13, 2004

Merit pay for teachers is bad

Some people (mainly Republicans) say that to improve teacher quality, better teachers should get an incentive (like more money). How to tell which teachers are better than others? Some states which have merit pay use students' scores on standardized tests. Florida is one state which this give us an example why this approach doesn't work, from an article at heraldtribune.com:
Yet the state has no programs to reward talented teachers for transferring to a poor school or to entice teachers at poor schools to stay.

The public school system does just the opposite. Teachers who transfer to wealthy schools have a better chance to get a salary bonus based on their students' performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Basically, teachers of honors students will get paid more than special ed teachers, for example, because their kids score higher on standardized tests, and are therefore "better" teachers in the eyes of the state.

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