Recently, a member of our Facebook page posted something that we thought worth sharing. There is much talk about merit pay in our schools. Conservative Teachers of America has not developed an official position statement on the issue of merit pay we can see a place for it, we would like to express caution when implementing these systems. One of the biggest issues is that many of these systems hold teachers solely accountable, not administrators. It takes the whole school and administrators are just as responsible for creating a safe learning environment as a teacher is. A second major problem with merit pay, is the merit component is often tied to a standardized state test. To truly measure student growth by one performance event, on one day, is not the best way to measure learning. No merit pay system should be constructed with the data element becoming a dominant component in the performance review.
Below is a note on this matter from Advocates for Academic Freedom.
Teachers are facing inevitable accountability programs. It is time that we unite to assure that teachers are not held solely accountable for the problems facing their profession.
The May 18, 2011, issue of the Rice Lake, Wisconsin Chronotype article “Schools beleaguered by retaliation” records the observations of Team Works International, an impartial third party hired to identify the problems facing the district. A few of the problems identified were:
- Inconsistency among administration
- Absence of clear directives, administrative oversight and accountability
- Excessive administrative “ command and control”
- Absence of creativity and too much compliance
- Cronyism and manipulation of the system
- Punishment for teachers who “speak up” at meetings
Unfortunately, the problems identified in the Rice Lake School District are present in many American school districts and represent the reasons pilot programs for merit pay and accountability programs have always failed. More information is available at Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF) http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.org/