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Wisconsin Teachers' Perspective On Merit Pay

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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:35 PM
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Wisconsin Teachers' Perspective On Merit Pay

"Educators unsure how to grade teachers for merit-based pay

For many teachers, it's a touchy subject -- how to measure whether they are effective in the classroom.

As Washington moves closer to rewriting the federal No Child Left Behind law, one idea that has been simmering is if merit pay or linking teachers to student test scores would lead to higher quality teaching.

"What President Obama and (Education Secretary) Arne Duncan have talked about is what it is to professionally compensate quality teachers," said Mary Bell, president of Wisconsin Education Association Council. "There really aren't any specific proposals and they're talking in general terms, but we want to be a part of those discussions."

Bell said she sees the alternative compensation packages possibly being pay scales agreed on by teachers unions and administrators and would be tied to measures such as improvement in student and district performance.

"But how do you measure each of those is very complicated," Bell said. "When students in an entire school succeed, it's bigger than individual teachers. And how do you measure an art or music teacher, or a librarian? We know from research that all of them are just as important."
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:41 PM
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1. Because teaching is MAGIC and unlike any other job - it's IMPOSSIBLE to measure performance...
for teachers.

The rest of us live with imperfect performance measures, but teachers require a PERFECT measure.
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Peregrine Donating Member (712 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:34 PM
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2. Teachers are evaluated by their principals
their supervisor just like most people. Not too many people are evaluated by performance of others on tests that have little effect on them. In FL, students must pass FCAT reading in 3rd and 10th (or before they graduate). At no other time does a student have to pass reading and they never have to pass math or science. And students start to realize this.

I am part of the FL merit pay program (which will be next to nothing this year). I am scored on how well my students do on the math FCAT (I teach science, and FCAT science is in 5th and 8th grade only), evaluation by my principal, and evaluations done twice a year based on Marzano's teacher factors. Last year I got a merit bonus ($1600).

I don't like merit pay for teachers. Merit pay doesn't guarantee that good teachers will be rewarded and bad teachers won't. You'd be surprised at how many bad teachers get merit pay. And whether a teacher gets merit pay should not be based on whether he or she teaches evolution or GLBT rights.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:19 PM
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3. There is no objective way to measure the professional "merit"
of a teacher, and the corruption, misuse, and abuse of any such process prohibits it.

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