Should teacher pay be based on performance?
In a Nutshell
- Merit-based pay rewards the best instructors and punishes the worst instructors.
- Like all jobs, merit pay motivates in a way that results in more effort and better performance.
- It weeds out the cynical, burned out teachers that have coasted on tenure for far too long.
- Teachers will be motivated to try new approaches if an old one isn't working.
- In an effort to get the best results, teachers will seek out modern teaching technologies involving
computer-based training, Internet podcasts, Ipad apps, etc.
- How can teachers honestly convey to students that performance is important when they themselves
don't want to be judged on performance?
- Merit-pay brings out a spirit of competition with peers, which gives teachers yet another motivator
to do well.
- What's best for students should be the focus of educational efforts; not the teachers.
- Teachers from the inner city and/or poorer neighborhoods have far more obstacles to overcome and
can't be judged by the same scale as teachers from more advantaged areas.
- Teachers start emphasizing student performance on the tests that determine their pay rather than the overall
knowledge, ability, and development of the student.
- It could lead to more tolerance of cheating, as failing such students would lower their own performance-based
pay. In addition, teachers themselves could cheat on test-scoring.
- It will provide another disincentive for people to teach in disadvantaged areas. Pay must usually be higher
to draw education graduates to such challenging and potentially dangerous teaching districts.
- Most teachers don't enter their profession for money, so performance-based pay may not have any effect.
- Given the massive political power of teachers' unions, such a performance-based system will never pass, so it's
a waste of time to even consider it.
- The best teaching attributes--inspiration, motivation, etc.--are nearly impossible to measure.
Pros and Cons of Merit-Based Pay
Debatepedia: Is Merit-Based Pay for Teachers a Good Idea?
Performance-Based Pay for Education
Pros and Cons of School Testing
Teachers Deserve Merit Pay, Not Special-Interest Pay
Is anything missing? Is any of the material inaccurate?
Please let me know.
Written by: Joe Messerli
Page Last Updated: 12/8/2011