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Why are teachers so against Merit pay?

Steve

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in the only job I had that pay was based on time in service and my ability to do the job was not taken into consideration.. I found some of my co-workers did a good job and genuinely tried to do their best.. ..

but some.. well they were either worked against the management or were slugs.. and most of those were strong Union supporters..

so why protect the 15 to 25% who don't care..

in the military you have ranks.. the more qualified you are, the more you do.. the harder you try,.. you get paid a bit more.. and get a bit more responsibility.. BY the way,.. I never knew of not one service member who was there because of greed... I think that is a bit further up the ladder.. so I doubt it would be an over-riding effect on Teachers either..

with our children.. shouldn't we reward those who do more, are more qualified, and who try harder...

and like the military, flush out those who do not try or are not suitable... ?

the military may be responsible for our safety now,.. .. the teachers have our future in their hands every day.. so why not use a pay/advancement system to weed out the less qualified and get rid of the employees who are just there for a check..
 

Mike

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the teachers have our future in their hands every day.. so why not use a pay/advancement system to weed out the less qualified and get rid of the employees who are just there for a check..

Because either way you go, it is nearly impossible to fire a teacher after a tenure period. They will have the best of all worlds if Merit Pay is implemented throughout.

It also boils down to money spent by the taxpayer. In my area, the private school spends $3600.00 per student per year with a very low dropout rate............ I was reading the other day about a public school district in New Jersey that spends over $20,000.00 per year per student with a very high drop out rate and poor grade average.

Money must not be the overwhelming decider in a school system. The people who operate it must be there because they want to be.

USA Today
NASHVILLE — Offering middle-school math teachers bonuses up to $15,000 did not produce gains in student test scores, Vanderbilt University researchers reported Tuesday in what they said was the first scientifically rigorous test of merit pay.
The results (pdf) could amount to a cautionary flag about paying teachers for the performance of their students, a reform strategy the Obama administration and many states and school districts have favored despite lukewarm support or outright opposition from teachers' unions.

The U.S. Department of Education has put a great deal of effort into prodding school districts and states to try merit-pay systems as part of its Race to the Top competition, although teachers' unions have often objected on the grounds that they don't have fair and reliable ways to measure performance. In most school districts, teacher pay is based on years of experience and educational attainment levels.

The report's authors, of the National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI) at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education, stress that theirs is just one approach. The Nashville teachers who hit the mark based on their students' test scores received a bump in their paychecks but no additional mentoring or professional development. Neither their principals nor fellow teachers knew who participated in the experiment or who received bonuses.

Matthew G. Springer, director of the federally funded NCPI, said pay-for-performance is not "the magic bullet that so often the policy world is looking for."

At least in this experiment, Springer said, "it doesn't work."
 

Twister Frost

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I can only give you one teacher's perspective on merit pay, so take it with a grain of salt. Merit pay is based on outcomes (good thing), but those outcomes are attached to state and national tests. Nothing that my students do in my room, not attached to the test, count---it is based on one (some states more than one) test score. Testing is not bad, but it is not the be-all and end-all. I do not look at the students in my room and think, "Oh, Johnny, is a 678. He's advanced." I think, "Oh, Johnny is a great reader and I need to make sure that he continues to read books that interest him and will increase his reading/comprehension ability." If I was on merit pay this year, I think I would get a pretty nice incentive check for what my students scored---thing is, they have been scoring high since the third grade---it is not me the teacher, but the students who enjoy learning. I have had students who, had I been on merit pay, I would have been paying a hefty chunk to whoever for the testing numbers. I have students who are very intelligent, who realize there is no consequence for doing poorly on the test, make flower pictures on the test answer sheet and score in the da-dumb category, which is not listed on the test results, but they are straight A-B students in classes. Just so you understand, merit pay is incentive---some schools offer $25K for a year's testing---that's a beginning salary in some South Dakota schools. And actually, I am paid for longevity: on the year's we get a raise, when I add to my bachelor's degree (called moving over a lane), when I acquire my master's degree, and if I decide to take on a PhD degree. I control whether or not I will receive payment on the last three examples--I have to have the get-up-and-go to go after it; I do not sit and wait for the test results to come in. Not only that, but my decision to increase my learning should have payoffs in the classroom--I should be able to offer better instruction to my students.
Look at the kids around you today, and give me an honest answer of how many of them truly take responsibility for their own education? Compare them to the kids of your era---we offer them everything under the sun, do you think they take advantage or abuse it?
Mike, I do not profess to know what your state is like, but I do know that if you read your state's teachers' code of conduct, the school's teacher agreement and teacher handbook, you will find a section about how a teacher is relieved of duties. The school needs to have an administrator with the guts to do the job he/she is paid to do---if the violation is in the state's code of conduct, then dismissal should be immediate. If the infraction is agreement/handbook related, it is plan of action: two poor observations of three in the year an out the door. I'm sure in some states "Tenure" means something, but not in South Dakota nor North Dakota. Hope this explains why some teachers are against merit pay.
 

Steve

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I was reading the other day about a public school district in New Jersey that spends over $20,000.00 per year per student with a very high drop out rate and poor grade average.

our local school system is only about $17,500 a year per student and they have a stellar graduation/dropout rate... I believe over half finish with a diploma and about 15% are ready for further education.

so we are profoundly proud of the school's exceptional records.. :? :roll:

thank goodness we have never seen a teacher fired in the all the years we have lived here..

but then that is the reason our child went to a private school and a tech school.. and on to a top university..
 

Steve

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Twister Frost said:
I can only give you one teacher's perspective on merit pay, so take it with a grain of salt. Merit pay is based on outcomes (good thing), but those outcomes are attached to state and national tests. Nothing that my students do in my room, not attached to the test, count---it is based on one (some states more than one) test score. Testing is not bad, but it is not the be-all and end-all. I do not look at the students in my room and think, "Oh, Johnny, is a 678. He's advanced." I think, "Oh, Johnny is a great reader and I need to make sure that he continues to read books that interest him and will increase his reading/comprehension ability." If I was on merit pay this year, I think I would get a pretty nice incentive check for what my students scored---thing is, they have been scoring high since the third grade---it is not me the teacher, but the students who enjoy learning. I have had students who, had I been on merit pay, I would have been paying a hefty chunk to whoever for the testing numbers. I have students who are very intelligent, who realize there is no consequence for doing poorly on the test, make flower pictures on the test answer sheet and score in the da-dumb category, which is not listed on the test results, but they are straight A-B students in classes. Just so you understand, merit pay is incentive---some schools offer $25K for a year's testing---that's a beginning salary in some South Dakota schools. And actually, I am paid for longevity: on the year's we get a raise, when I add to my bachelor's degree (called moving over a lane), when I acquire my master's degree, and if I decide to take on a PhD degree. I control whether or not I will receive payment on the last three examples--I have to have the get-up-and-go to go after it; I do not sit and wait for the test results to come in. Not only that, but my decision to increase my learning should have payoffs in the classroom--I should be able to offer better instruction to my students.
Look at the kids around you today, and give me an honest answer of how many of them truly take responsibility for their own education? Compare them to the kids of your era---we offer them everything under the sun, do you think they take advantage or abuse it?
Mike, I do not profess to know what your state is like, but I do know that if you read your state's teachers' code of conduct, the school's teacher agreement and teacher handbook, you will find a section about how a teacher is relieved of duties. The school needs to have an administrator with the guts to do the job he/she is paid to do---if the violation is in the state's code of conduct, then dismissal should be immediate. If the infraction is agreement/handbook related, it is plan of action: two poor observations of three in the year an out the door. I'm sure in some states "Tenure" means something, but not in South Dakota nor North Dakota. Hope this explains why some teachers are against merit pay.

merit pay should not be based on just exams.. but a combination of observations, qualifications and ability to get the children to see the consequences of drawing daisies..

and as far as I am concerned,.. the student need to take responsibility fro their education as well.. scholarships are a god way to reward the students who do well in tests and GPA.. and getting failed should motivate a few..
If South Dakota was the example of how our education system worked, I doubt there would be as many complaints.. but it isn't.. many are like costly like New Jersey, and corrupt Atlanta/New York and it is taking a toll on our country.

BTW,.. a service-members promotion isn't based on one category either, but a combination of areas and usually requires the soldier/sailor pass an exam showing proficiency at the level he wishes to get to..

and often one of those areas was leading/managing the youth who just joined and turning them around.. it wasn't easy to be a 4.0 leader all the time, as some of the guys should have never been allowed to join.. but you dealt with what you have and got results or you got bad marks..
 

okfarmer

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The numbers are not an apples to apples comparison.

Private schools are not teaching the handicapped or the mentally challenged kids- costs go up astronomically. These always fall to the public school.

My kid goes to private school and when she needed a speech pathologist, they needed to send her to the public school (free). This was not offered at her school.

In public schools, part of the price tag is also feeding low income kids, buying their school supplies, transportation (buses and fuel are not cheap).

There is plenty of waste that could be improved, but there is a lot of hidden costs as well.
 

Larrry

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In the schools around he the schools pocket more money on free and reduced lunches than the kids who pay for their lunches. A school is then motivated to get as many on the free lunches.
 

TSR

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Steve said:
Twister Frost said:
I can only give you one teacher's perspective on merit pay, so take it with a grain of salt. Merit pay is based on outcomes (good thing), but those outcomes are attached to state and national tests. Nothing that my students do in my room, not attached to the test, count---it is based on one (some states more than one) test score. Testing is not bad, but it is not the be-all and end-all. I do not look at the students in my room and think, "Oh, Johnny, is a 678. He's advanced." I think, "Oh, Johnny is a great reader and I need to make sure that he continues to read books that interest him and will increase his reading/comprehension ability." If I was on merit pay this year, I think I would get a pretty nice incentive check for what my students scored---thing is, they have been scoring high since the third grade---it is not me the teacher, but the students who enjoy learning. I have had students who, had I been on merit pay, I would have been paying a hefty chunk to whoever for the testing numbers. I have students who are very intelligent, who realize there is no consequence for doing poorly on the test, make flower pictures on the test answer sheet and score in the da-dumb category, which is not listed on the test results, but they are straight A-B students in classes. Just so you understand, merit pay is incentive---some schools offer $25K for a year's testing---that's a beginning salary in some South Dakota schools. And actually, I am paid for longevity: on the year's we get a raise, when I add to my bachelor's degree (called moving over a lane), when I acquire my master's degree, and if I decide to take on a PhD degree. I control whether or not I will receive payment on the last three examples--I have to have the get-up-and-go to go after it; I do not sit and wait for the test results to come in. Not only that, but my decision to increase my learning should have payoffs in the classroom--I should be able to offer better instruction to my students.
Look at the kids around you today, and give me an honest answer of how many of them truly take responsibility for their own education? Compare them to the kids of your era---we offer them everything under the sun, do you think they take advantage or abuse it?
Mike, I do not profess to know what your state is like, but I do know that if you read your state's teachers' code of conduct, the school's teacher agreement and teacher handbook, you will find a section about how a teacher is relieved of duties. The school needs to have an administrator with the guts to do the job he/she is paid to do---if the violation is in the state's code of conduct, then dismissal should be immediate. If the infraction is agreement/handbook related, it is plan of action: two poor observations of three in the year an out the door. I'm sure in some states "Tenure" means something, but not in South Dakota nor North Dakota. Hope this explains why some teachers are against merit pay.

merit pay should not be based on just exams.. but a combination of observations, qualifications and ability to get the children to see the consequences of drawing daisies..

and as far as I am concerned,.. the student need to take responsibility fro their education as well.. scholarships are a god way to reward the students who do well in tests and GPA.. and getting failed should motivate a few..
If South Dakota was the example of how our education system worked, I doubt there would be as many complaints.. but it isn't.. many are like costly like New Jersey, and corrupt Atlanta/New York and it is taking a toll on our country.

BTW,.. a service-members promotion isn't based on one category either, but a combination of areas and usually requires the soldier/sailor pass an exam showing proficiency at the level he wishes to get to..

and often one of those areas was leading/managing the youth who just joined and turning them around.. it wasn't easy to be a 4.0 leader all the time, as some of the guys should have never been allowed to join.. but you dealt with what you have and got results or you got bad marks..

Good post. Exactly what a republican governor (Lamar Alexander) tried to do in Tn, with respect to the basing of merit pay. When I was in elementary school there was a teacher who took in two boys and raised them until they found a foster home-- unfortunately if there had been tests to determine her proficiency she possibly could have gotten a poor grade.
Teaching is more than just scores. In TN now it takes about 5 yrs. of college to get a "real" teaching degree. Who is going to endure that just to be told after your third year of teaching your scores aren't good enough, you need to find another profession.
With respect to tenure, here, administrators have 4 yrs to determine if someone is suitable to teach. If they can't do it in 4 yrs maybe they need to be reevaluated. Reckon local politics ever has any influence in their decisions? :???: :D
 

Steve

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In TN now it takes about 5 yrs. of college to get a "real" teaching degree. Who is going to endure that just to be told after your third year of teaching your scores aren't good enough, you need to find another profession.

if after three years of teaching their scores are not good enough... maybe the university that taught them for five years should lose their credentials?
 

Steve

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When I was in elementary school there was a teacher who took in two boys and raised them until they found a foster home-- unfortunately if there had been tests to determine her proficiency she possibly could have gotten a poor grade.
Teaching is more than just scores.

and so was making rank in the military... in fact I know of very few jobs where advancement is only based on a score of a test.. What I really should say is I do not know of any job or career where a test score is the sole criteria for advancement.

I had hoped that teachers would have been able to see and develop a fair way to asses their career and to be able to evaluate a teachers performance on more then just a test..

in any career evaluation it is usually based on a broad spectrum of criteria.. not just a test..
 

Twister Frost

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Larrry said:
In the schools around he the schools pocket more money on free and reduced lunches than the kids who pay for their lunches. A school is then motivated to get as many on the free lunches.

Free and reduced is what comprises the majority of a school's "Title funds." Those title funds allow schools early intervention for math and reading---what is upsetting in some schools is that the elementary school has a title program, but the junior high/high school does not qualify; thus, when the student enters the 7th grade, he/she magically has no reading or math deficiency any longer (sarcasm). Title students do not qualify for special ed---thus, the purpose of title, to catch the fringe students before they fall too far behind. Title monies are watched very closely by the feds, so there is no room for trying to shift any money from one area to the next.
 

Twister Frost

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Steve said:
and so was making rank in the military... in fact I know of very few jobs where advancement is only based on a score of a test.. What I really should say is I do not know of any job or career where a test score is the sole criteria for advancement.

I had hoped that teachers would have been able to see and develop a fair way to asses ( :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:) their career and to be able to evaluate a teachers performance on more then just a test..

in any career evaluation it is usually based on a broad spectrum of criteria.. not just a test..

Merit pay rewards a teacher for teaching to the test---doesn't leave a lot of room for teaching common knowledge, local history, or information that is useful to a specific region/state. The idea that merit pay should be based on multiple criteria is fine, but based on all the angst for tenure I have read on here, do you really trust the administrators who can't seem to "get rid of a tenured teacher" to give a fair evaluation of a teacher's performance in the classroom? Also, the biggest push right now in education is NCLB, and the feds darn well want to see that all kids are proficient or advanced (only the test tells that, not the grades in the classroom). Secondly, there isn't money in education for salaries now, so where will these "bonuses" come from? As I stated before, as individual teachers, we are in charge of moving ourselves up the pay scale through further education, so why do we need testing pay?
 

okfarmer

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Steve said:
I had hoped that teachers would have been able to see and develop a fair way to asses their career and to be able to evaluate a teachers performance on more then just a test..

I was under the assumption that a majority of the administrations duties were assessment of their employees competency. But that would require them to be in the classroom a little and know what is going on.

My wife stayed home to take care of the baby but still subbed a little in some schools around home. There were multiple principals that she never met, even though she was in their school and new.

I can't imagine a temp walking into any business and not meeting the supervisor at least on some level.

I think in many instances, it is the administration's jobs that are too (edited to add the second o before Twister broke out the red pen or smiley faces) secure. The public needs to demand more from them and the school boards.
 

Twister Frost

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okfarmer said:
Steve said:
I had hoped that teachers would have been able to see and develop a fair way to asses their career and to be able to evaluate a teachers performance on more then just a test..


I think in many instances, it is the administration's jobs that are too (edited to add the second o before Twister broke out the red pen or smiley faces) secure. The public needs to demand more from them and the school boards.

Herein lies one of the worst problems with communication over a computer, I actually smiled at the misspelling because it then means something similar to "tachers getting off their arses..." exactly what I was saying---if teachers get off their bums and further their education they are rewarded. Steve, I hope you did not take offense to the smileys, because I really did see it as humorous. If you did, Steve, I apologize. For you, okfarmer, if I chose to bring out the red pen everytime I read something that wasn't grammatically correct, I would never have time to reply!! I'm not going to play the spelling/grammar/usage/mechanics police; yet, I really do enjoy word choice and semantics, things like what kind of dogs howl!!!
 
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