Merit Pay — Part II (I think)

You know it occurred that this plan has more problems than it can shake a stick at.

First, just putting this out there, how many states have had to CUT their education budgets?  Teachers and school staff have been laid off (fired);  class sizes have increased; pay has been either cut or frozen; there are no raises; and benefits (for those who still receive them) are being slashed.  You know, if there is no money then how the “helicopter” are we going to grant incentive pay?  It seems to me that we don’t really have the monetary infrastructure in place to increase teacher pay to accommodate for increased test scores.

Second, while there is no comprehensive plan out there (Let’s just wing it!), it seems to me that we don’t really know what this will look like.  Are teachers to become the used car salesmen of education? We will receive a “base pay” with the idea that we can get bonuses when we’re successful?  Or is this a “base pay” and “merit pay” structure?  Do teachers get to get raises or do they merely get bonuses?

Third: What will this look like in schools?  I say this sincerely because this change in pay structure has the power to negatively affect ALL schools.  What about teachers who don’t have “test scores”?  After all, there are no standardized tests for kindergarten, first grade, PE, most electives, even science and social studies. There are also resource teachers, coaches, intervention teachers, special education teachers, and district office teachers.  Will these teachers be exempt from increasing their pay?  How will incentive or merit pay look for them?  Or will they just get automatic pay raises?

Like many things in education, someone gets a wild hair.  However, before we change things dramatically to please a few political people with an axe to grind, what say we actually think about this?  What say we find the money to fully fund schools, restore everything and every person that has been cut over the last 20 years, make sure all schools have administrators and counselors, make sure the schools have aides, associates, and materials to give students their best, and THEN let’s look at monetarily rewarding our teachers.

Cause for all of this you are going to have to SHOW ME THE MONEY.


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