February 17, 2005

Experts (?) on Merit Pay for Teachers One of my Google Alerts brought me the material below. I know two of the ten experts. I often disagree with James Guthrie and often agree with John Stone. In this case, I disagree with both of them in two ways. First, I disagree that merit pay for teachers is a good idea. As I noted in my book note on True Professionalism: Pay for Performance: This is a hot topic, with some states going so far as to mandate that districts develop some such approach. Maister indicates that high-performing professional firms tend toward group financial incentives and social controls for individuals. He suggests that individual pay-for-performance schemes are often a way to avoid the hard work of controls: "In essence, individual performance-based reward systems represent, in many cases, a perfect excuse to abdicate responsibility for coaching, counseling, and assisting (i.e., an excuse not to manage)." p.86 I further disagree with the use of value-added analysis in this regard. TVAAS and similar systems are wonderful for providing data to help education leaders and practitioners reflect. It can raise some wonderful and powerful questions. In a small percentage of cases, it may even contribute to teacher evaulations. But it is certainly not structured to handle the weight of "merit" pay. ROUND-UP: PERFORMANCE PAY FOR TEACHERS Following are experts who can discuss the use of performance pay for teachers' salaries. Some school districts are raising teachers' salaries each year based only on whether they set and fulfill performance goals, as opposed to...

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