Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:42 am
Sandy is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I generally support merit pay for teachers, provided that it is implemented fairly. For instance, the piece you posted by Julia Koppich states that "Value-added calculations, however, should not be used as the sole gauge of teachers’ compensation. They too are an imperfect technology."
It is critical that a merit pay system include observation by many experienced outsiders, and not just the principal or other teachers from the same school. I also think that mentoring for new teachers, and any who are not meeting expectations (regardless of tenure) is very important for motivating teachers.
I wish I could attend the PACE conference on March 30 in Oakland, where alternative forms of teacher compensation will be examined in depth. Unfortunately, I will be starting a new quarter of teaching that day, so I can't. Perhaps someone else will be able to attend:
Here's an article from last fall in the Washington Post, about an experiment in Maryland's Prince George school district with merit pay, that I found interesting:
There are also interesting posts at DailyKos about these issues:
I definitely think other options are worth exploring.