Teacher Merit Pay

1455 words 6 pages
July 21, 2011

Merit or Mistake
In today’s society one of the most important factors in selecting a career field is rate of pay. No matter whether the profession maybe, the dollar figure must be within a range that allows the employee to maintain a substantial lifestyle. The debate of teacher pay scales has raged on for years. Many argue that the current pay scale for teachers is a scale which rewards teachers merely for seniority. They argue that the current pay scale overlooks those educators which demonstrate exceptional performance. Teacher merit pay systems have been the most popular suggestions made to remedy the problems seen with the current pay scale. Although the current pay scale may not be completely effective, the idea of
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Intangibles such as how a teacher motivates and relates to students, and their command and control of subject matter being taught cannot be measured solely by standardized tests scores. Kim Marshall also stated that standardized tests “aren’t valid for a one-shot assessment of individual teachers; and it takes at least three years of value-added data for reliable patterns to emerge”. Additional factors can also be overlooked during teacher evaluations such as initial achievement levels of students prior to entering that class, and lack of parental backing essential to the retaining of education. Teachers in merit pay systems stand a strong chance of being penalized for coming out on the wrong side of the luck of the draw.
Those who feel teacher merit pay is the best option believe that it will ensure that the best learning environment is put forth. They believe that they will have more of a say-so as to how students are taught. They also believe they will be better able to cater lesson plans and curriculums to the needs of students. Even though these proposals sound great, they are untrue. Teacher merit pay would cripple schools abilities to create successful learning environment.This would be caused by a rise in Federal and State regulations The Federal government may be inclined to intervene when schools fail to meet their strict benchmarks for success. State governments would be


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