Just another goofy UST PoliSci Professor…
February 24, 2011
Blocked, Diluted, and Co-opted : Education Next.
Eric Hanushek and Paul Peterson discuss why merit pay experiments in the U.S. tend not to last very long or work very well.
Filed under Uncategorized
About USTPoliSciProfChair & Associate Professor of Political Science, Univ. of St. Thomas-Houston. Ph.D., University of Oklahoma. Hubby, Dad, China Hand, & Libertarian Republican.
The merit-pay plan is easier said than done. How can you truly rate a quality performance of a teacher? Is it based on student test scores? I suspect more teachers in wealthy, high income, well educated parents areas will have more incentive pay than teachers in blue-collar or low income familites areas. High income parents can afford to send their kids to private tutorials or have more times and energy to read to their children at night.
Particularly, I like the TIF program in North Carolina. The TIF program gave substantial bonuses for “working at hard to staff schools, hard to staff subjects, and for taking on leadership roles.”
I agree. I also believe that although a merit-based pay initiative in education is a good idea in theory, it’s also predicated on the belief that the primary impediment to improving student performance is through teacher incentivization. Unfortunately, this completely disregards other detrimental factors such as the pervasive decline in student initiative, a lack of parental involvement in their child’s studies, etc. These programs could also unintentionally backfire in that as certain teacher’s become more competitive in order to increase their earning potential, they may be trasfered to more conducive/amenable learning environments, such as “gifted & talented” classrooms, honors courses, etc., particularly if these programs are benchmarks for the school/district. As this takes place, the “better” teachers will end of teaching more responsive students, while the students who may actually need the most time and effort to improve performance will end of being taught by the underperforming/less motivated educators.
This is an enlighting article to digest and I do believe merit pay can relatively get good outcomes in our struggling education competiveness. Many teachers in public education in the past have made statements of their low salary. Merit pay will give incentive to motivate the educators to teach and become creative teachers in order to get better results from their students. Obviously, this sound great in theory and it becomes a challenge in practical manner on how to evaluate teacher’s performance based upon student’s test scores. But at least this will keep better quality educators arriving to work who actually care about their student’s outcome instead of doing the minimum standards and keeping a steady pay check.
I also agree with the earlier posts, merit pay is great in theory. However, I think that politicians and those who believe this system would work are only looking at the situation from an economic perspective, not an educational one. There are so many factors that must be added to the educational equation. For example, it seems to me a merit pay system would only deter people from becoming teachers in the public school system. This would only render the children worse off.
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