Teacher pay set by the results

Full story: Baltimore Sun

From rural Washington County to suburban Prince George's County , school systems around the state are beginning to wade into a promising but controversial topic in education: pay for performance.
Comments
1 - 19 of 19 Comments Last updated Jul 8, 2008
taxpayer

Brunswick, MD

#1 Jul 6, 2008
Performance based pay - Excellent idea! I think all the good teachers should get a 100% pay raise, and the other 90% of teachers should be fired.
Steve Silber

Dumfries, VA

#2 Jul 6, 2008
Good, it's quite obvious that 'No Child Left Behind' is a total failure. We(the U.S.) have some of the greatest minds in thew world. PLEASE, take education out of the hands of thew politicians & put it back into the hands of the educators. Higher finnancial consideration is step 1. Steve Silber

Since: Nov 07

Reisterstown

#3 Jul 6, 2008
Let's call the pay incentives what they really are, "Combat Pay". Do you think the "excellent teachers" are willing to work in the worst ares of the city and state where they are daily threatened, physically attacked, the administration doesn't support them, there is no support from the parents and the students really don't care about learning. I wouldn't!
Cammie

Arnold, MD

#4 Jul 6, 2008
Pay for performance - used in the private sector and in other parts of government. Good idea. Reward those who get good results. Rewarding everyone equally perpetuates failure. Of course the Union doesn't like it. All they want to do is protect jobs even if some of the people doing the job are unqualified or mediocre.

This is in line with NCLB - accountability.
Jim

Germantown, MD

#5 Jul 6, 2008
This article convinces me that the Unions are one of the biggest obstacles to improving public schools. Anything different designed to improve the schools and the results they oppose--merit pay, making it easier to get rid of bad teachers, vouchers for poor people, charter schools, No Child Left Behind, etc.
Jim

Germantown, MD

#6 Jul 6, 2008
Steve Silber wrote:
Good, it's quite obvious that 'No Child Left Behind' is a total failure. We(the U.S.) have some of the greatest minds in thew world. PLEASE, take education out of the hands of thew politicians & put it back into the hands of the educators. Higher finnancial consideration is step 1. Steve Silber
The so called "educators" and their Unions are the root of the problem. This is why the politicians have step in to clean up their mess.
Leo

Germantown, MD

#7 Jul 6, 2008
KisseyKelsey wrote:
Let's call the pay incentives what they really are, "Combat Pay". Do you think the "excellent teachers" are willing to work in the worst ares of the city and state where they are daily threatened, physically attacked, the administration doesn't support them, there is no support from the parents and the students really don't care about learning. I wouldn't!
These kids and the culture they live in is the direct result of liberal government policy and programs over the last 40 years. These programs decimated the innner-city family structure. 90%+ have no father in the house. He has been replaced with a government check. Young women were given a financial incentive not to improve and to have babies while they are still children. The result is a disaster. We cannot abandon these kids and must try new approaches such as this. How do I know this? I am a student a Towson U and am a product of this sad system. Many of the brothers I grew up with are in jail, selling dope. Some are dead.
SLM

Bel Air, MD

#8 Jul 6, 2008
After I got an angry phone call from a colleague this morning, I read the article in the Sun. I have a number of concerns about teacher merit pay in general, but the majority of my concerns center around the use of test scores. Testing in the schools I have been in has always inconsistent at best, with scores bearing little or no connection to the soft aspects of being a good teacher like positive classroom environments, good parent and student relationships, nurturing individualized attention, and so much more.
Teachers already have significant motivation to cheat on these tests and not always because they want to make themselves look better. Anyone who has given the Stanford to 25 inner city first graders can tell you sometimes it can hurt your heart to say, "I can't tell you how to do it" one more time. Testing practices can be sloppy or tight depending on your school. Add the motivation of a $5000 dollar check and before you know it testing will be meaningless.
Nancy G

Baltimore, MD

#9 Jul 6, 2008
Having the political establishment setting educational standards is not the answer. NCLB won't work because politicians are setting the standards and not educational professionals (the ones who are actually in the trenches today...not 30 years ago).

Holding teachers accountable for student performance is part of the solution. Holding parents, families, and communities responsible for their children is the larger component of this equation.

Until the public demands excellence from themselves blaming undersupported and underpaid teachers is not the answer.
Teacher

Baltimore, MD

#10 Jul 6, 2008
taxpayer wrote:
Performance based pay - Excellent idea! I think all the good teachers should get a 100% pay raise, and the other 90% of teachers should be fired.
An emotional reaction and clearly a negative opinion of most teachers. The classroom has become a mine field. Even good teachers can end up performing poorly. I certainly would like to have the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for results.

I want to know what teachers think rather than unions.
Marlene

Pensacola, FL

#11 Jul 6, 2008
Pay incentives may work in some areas. In other areas, not so much. A teacher can be very committed, but when they are subjected to physical abuse coupled with it being illegal to defend themselves appropriately, how in the hell are they supposed to teach? Most readers will know that I am not talking about Gilman or Bryn Mawr. I went to Northern High School before metal detectors. We HAD to learn the required core or we were held back. Standards were high. Some teachers were "mean". Thank you Mamie B. Williams for teaching me shorthand. Helped a lot taking notes. Some teachers were funny. Thank you Mr. O'Connor for a great English class. One teacher backed me up against the lab counter and told me he thought I was more woman than girl, and that the grade in his class would be the grade that would either negatively or positively impact my future. No thanks to you and I won't mention your name since I dealt with the problem myself and you are probably still alive--had no other recourse in those days. Eventually, I ended up conferring my degree at JHU while earning entrance into 2 honor socieities. I never, ever made less than a living wage and none of my "average" grades kept me from being admitted to JHU. Just bring back the standards I and the rest of the students had to live by in their academic years. You will then find that most who teach are there because they want to be and will do an exceptional job.
Makeshift Patriot

Baltimore, MD

#12 Jul 6, 2008
Standardized testing abolishes critical thinking. Critical thinking is what is necessary for citizens to participate in our democratic republic, or representative democracy. Standardized testing is one more way to dumb-down America, so the elite can take our taxes, run up the debt and control a population mentally illequipted to do anything about it. Paying teachers as an incentive for high test scores, underscores the need to ensure that teachers "buy" into this scheme.
ann

Rosedale, MD

#13 Jul 6, 2008
The reality is different than the theory here. Yes, teachers do deserve better pay and most definitely some teachers are better educators that others; just like in any venue of business or endeavor. But, educators need satisfaction and success as well as financial incentives. Where's the financial payoff in struggling with students who cannot/will not make the grade for myriad reasons? Where's the incentive to work with them? Great idea. Doesn't work.
kathy

Fallston, MD

#14 Jul 6, 2008
i know bush and the drunk teddy kennedy got nclb going byut there is one thing wrong. all children are not created equal and also not all parents get involved in educating the children that they have. now how do you justify giving one teacher say a good good or better yet let us take baltimore city. onde teacher teaches at roland park which is white and upper middle class and another at templeton downtown and dirty. one group is going to have a high passing rate and the other well just getting a couple to pass is an achievement. same thing at pg county inside and far outside the beltway.
Help

East Northport, NY

#15 Jul 6, 2008
is needed to fix the terrible school buildings and neighborhoods where some of the low performing schools exist.

We are spending billions in Iraq, but there are no billions to fix falling-down school buildings and decrepet housing.
Makeshift Patriot

Baltimore, MD

#16 Jul 6, 2008
Help wrote:
is needed to fix the terrible school buildings and neighborhoods where some of the low performing schools exist.
We are spending billions in Iraq, but there are no billions to fix falling-down school buildings and decrepet housing.
Yeah, because you can't buy stock in you local neighborhood elementary school. Instead our tax revenue goes to death and destruction. No better time to purchase military contractors' stock!
Euler

Waldorf, MD

#18 Jul 7, 2008
Why should we pay money toward the welfare state and fix up schools and housing destroyed by public muck?

As can be seen by good private schools, there are way too many "teachers" that have infiltrated our school systems under the guise of "highly qualified" leaders of the educational system.

Standardized tests have found their way into the school systems, on the state level, due to grade inflation and the social promotion of students that can't read, can't learn, and can't behave.

The most atrocious thing to do is to give another dime to the federal public schools, as they are polluted with bureaucrats and others sucking out of the public trough.
LPinCrofton

Highland, MD

#19 Jul 8, 2008
It's about time! We really need to see the most effective teachers receiving more money. The unions are always skeptical of change. The unions do a great service in ensuring a fair work environment and minimum compensation for teachers, but I have NEVER understood the reluctance to allow pay for performance. There are a lot of GREAT teachers out there, some mediocre ones, and some cruddy ones. Why on earth should they earn the same salary?
Makeshift Patriot

Baltimore, MD

#20 Jul 8, 2008
You can be the best teacher in the world, but if many of your students' suffer from lead poisoning and/or other another environmental maladies, they are probably not going to perform up to the state standards. Then you will see teachers flee poverty stricken areas for areas which traditionally perform well. Teachers should not be held responsible for variables which are beyond their control.

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