Five myths about paying good teachers more
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says paying public school teachers
based on their performance is his "highest priority," and he plans to
dole out hundreds of millions of dollars to states and school systems
that embrace the idea.
In the District of Columbia, Schools Chancellor
Michelle Rhee has made such reform a cornerstone of her agenda -- and a
backdrop to her recent move to lay off 229 teachers in response to
budget cuts. But school reformers have been trying unsuccessfully to
introduce performance pay in public education for decades.
If today's reformers want to break the deadlock, they're going to have to let go of several myths hanging over the debate:
1. Merit pay has a strong track record.
2. Teachers unions are the biggest barrier to merit pay.
3. Principals are good judges of teacher talent.
4. Student test scores offer a simple solution to the evaluation problem.
5. Teachers are most motivated by money.
I would disagree with #2, but otherwise I believe these points should be thoroughly discussed.