Friday, December 16, 2011

Merit badges

Trying to follow the logic in the arguments against higher pay for good teachers can be perplexing.
For example, from a paper further south: "Some will receive merit pay, not all. Let's just hope it will be the right teachers and that the merit pay criteria has merit."
That was her conclusion after arguing, essentially, that there was no way to discern whether any teacher was better than another.
If that is the case, how can we tell whether the "right teachers" get merit pay?
Strangely enough, if you walk into any public school and ask someone on the faculty who are the best teachers, you probably will be given the names of several teachers. How do they know?
Years ago a professor at the University of Florida devised an assessment form that statistical testing showed was accurate. Still, the powerful special interests that protect the education monopoly managed to kill the merit pay system is use at the time, which was based on that assessment.
Teacher unions maintain that all teachers are created equal and do equal work and must get equal pay. Except that if they continue to live and breathe they should be paid more.
To return to the teacher's complaint that not all will receive merit pay.
All are the best?
Teaching is a job, not magic. We can tell who is doing a good job and those who do should be paid more, as they are in every other profession. Furthermore, those who are not doing the job should be terminated, as they are in any other profession where unions do not prevent good management.

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