Merit Pay for teachers

I’ve seen this subject discussed elsewhere and thought I’d start a thread for comments.

My personal opinion is that this idea is of course great in principle but a complete failure once you go for implementation. I mean really what merits are we judging? how many students pass the class? well we all know how that will go. Students will graduate knowing even less than they do now.

As it is it seems our education system is trending towards lowering standards so more students graduate. Our system is failing, instead of teaching kids to strive to do the best you can do we teach them its ok to be lazy and take the easy route. Here take this easier math/english course instead, you will still graduate.

I realize there are some students who need extra help and it should be provided but having a course with lower standards just so a student can graduate is a piss poor idea. Another hit to our childrens education is the last thing we need and merit based pay would be a hit.

A merit based system does not work without proper metrics and lets face it # of students passing would be our governments lazily implemented metric for success. Bonuses for teachers who consistently exceed expectations and go the extra mile hell yes I’m for that this plan of kevin falcons is fucking retarded.

Also, Mr falcon people do think you eat too many chocolate bars.

Perhaps we should have merit pay for M.L.A.s

Falcon would still be stuck at the $6.00 training wage…

No way in heck would that ever work! Kids would be just pushed through the system, more then ever! Falcon can stick it up his nose!

Merit pay plays into the extrinsic reinforcement theory.

A problem with extrinsic motivation is that the true goal is replaced by a reward. To put it simply, instead of the teacher (link focus) performing above mean expectations for, say, personal professional reasons, they might begin working for external rewards.

This is not in itself wrong but it may lead to performance lags when/if external rewards are unavailable or unaffordable.

Also once an extrinsic reward is provided, how might the measure of any future like performance be determined? The bar is effectively raised, which is good, however the individual may become unmotivated if s/he sees the next reward level(s) to be beyond reach.

Falcon would still be stuck at the $6.00 training wage…[/quote]

LOL :smile:


Falcon would still be stuck at the $6.00 training wage…[/quote]

Are you kidding me? He’d be stuck at the chinese child labor pay…

Why is merit pay for teachers something that always crops up?

Today I had plenty of time to think about this while sitting in a dentist chair for three hours. I have been going to the same dentist for over 30 years and I have absolutely no complaints about him. Before I came to Rupert I had the same dentist from the time I was about eight. That’s it for my experiences with dentists. I have no idea how one dentist compares to another.

I have had maybe 10 doctors in Rupert not counting those I might have seen in emergency. I have no complaints. Fortunately, I have been healthy so I go once or twice a year for 15 minutes. Again, I really don’t know how one doctor compares to another.

Same with lawyers, nurses, plumbers etc etc.

Teachers are different. In elementary school we can have up to eight teachers who we live with all day for 200 days. In high school we might have 30 teachers over five years who we see for an hour a day for five months. Then we have kids and we see more teachers.

With a big pool to draw from we are going to see some very good, most average and some not so good. And we get to know them fairly well. And because we deal with them closely, almost like family in a sense, conflicts are more likely to occur.

All of this allows us to make judgments. He’s good. She’s ok. He’s a jerk. And while we can change doctors or lawyers when we think a guy might be a jerk (even when he is probably very competent), it is not as easy to constantly shuffle people around within a school.

Of course we wish every teacher were as good as the best one we ever had, but that just is not a reality and merit pay won’t make it happen.

Shifting gears slightly. In the Globe and Mail editorial that opposed the idea of merit pay, the issue of how merit would be determined was only one aspect. They also focused on the cost. One paragraph.

“But how much more money? Employees account for 75 to 80 per cent of education costs. How much, over time, would costs rise to give teachers a greater incentive to do better? If the raises or bonuses are minimal, there’s not much incentive. Some United States jurisdictions are proposing salaries as high as $147,000 a year in return for an end to job security.”

I am guessing there are much better ways to improve our education system.

It’s fairly difficult if not impossible to measure a single teachers impact on a student or students. Other than abusive interactions and perhaps one or two other instances I cannot think of at the moment, this is one clear time. How also might student motivation be included as a factor? Peer evaluation is suspect as is student and parent evaluation. Could become a mere measure of teacher popularity. Students have been reported to appreciate good ‘tough’ teachers afterwards but unless merit pay is made retroactive, some of these good but tough teachers might be overlooked. Salaries are already stretching education dollars so where might these extra dollars come from?