Teacher Merit Pay

Topics: Standardized test, Education, Test Pages: 5 (1705 words) Published: April 3, 2013

That’s Not Fair: Teacher’s Performance Based on Pay

There has been a huge debate on whether or not teacher pay or performance pay is a positive thing because there are no real guidelines. Many good points are brought into this debate as there are bad points. In theory, performance and merit pay sound great and solve all problems, but this is where the argument begins. What teachers are considered eligible to receive merit pay? Are standardized tests a good way to indicate improvement? Should students with learning disabilities be a contributing factor to merit pay? As a result to all these questions, all of them have some sort of error. One cannot give a school merit pay based on a certain criteria. There should be a lot to consider when determining whether or not merit pay is a good idea.

That’s Not Fair: Teacher’s Performance Based on Pay
When one walks into a department store and an employee walks up to them and asks if he or she needs any help finding something, well they are most likely working on commission. Commission is done mostly in department stores, and it is where an employee has a base salary but he or she gets money for selling a certain amount of items. Employees who work on commission usually come off as pushy and annoying, but they are only being persistent because that is their job. This is why many customers do not like shopping at stores who pay their employees on commission. This is much like merit pay. Merit pay is when a teacher would receive more money for a student’s achievement. It sounds great. It may be, but there is more to it than what people think. When one digs down deep there are many factors when considering merit pay. Just like commission, merit pay pushes students and teachers to the point where they are going to stop caring and give up. Teachers should not receive merit pay because there are no real guidelines. One cannot determine who would receive merit pay. Standardized tests are not a reliable assessment of student and teacher achievements. It is neither fair nor right to test students with learning disabilities.

One cannot determine who would receive merit pay. There are many different views on each side of this constant debate. Some say there is a simple way and others strongly disagree with that. In the article "Pay that Accounts for Test Scores: Two Views" Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers expressed her feelings about performance pay. When it comes to decisions about individual pay, she said, no system fairly isolates the effects of teaching from other factors that influence student performance on tests (Khadaroo, 2009). She is right, teachers should encourage student achievements because they want too, not because teachers are being bribed by money to better themselves. According to Ms. Weingarten, in the article "Pay that Accounts for Test Scores: Two Views," test score analysis should be offered to TEACHER PERFORMANCE AND MERIT PAY 4

teachers to help them pinpoint the needs of their students. Not to decide whether or not to use those test scores on teachers’ pay performance. She also states that it is not fair to remove a teacher who has a student who cannot perform well on these standardized tests (Khadaroo, 2009). Performance pay would create a better environment for students because some people say it would make both teachers and students work harder. Thomas Toch (2009) made a great point about performance pay. He said, "Performance pay may be one tool with in which to create a more professional culture in public school teaching, but it is no more that that." Toch is exactly right. Yes...
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