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Merit Pay survey
Old 06-13-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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I was reading an article about Pittsburgh Public Schools in PA instituting merit pay into their new contract.

1. Does your district have some type of Merit Pay system

2. If so explain how it works.

3. What is your opinion about Merit Pay

Answers:

1. Not yet, but I think it's coming

2. NA

3. Mixed feelings. I think I should get rewarded for the extra work I do everday to get my students where they should be. But, I think the slackers will work harder at finding a way to work around the system rather than working hard with the students. Still not sure what would be an equitable, unbiased way evaluate the teachers.


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Old 06-13-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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1. No

2. N/A

3. I think if it absolutely MUST be implemented, it should be as a bonus, not part of your guaranteed (or not so guaranteed) pay. I think it's a nice idea to reward hard work, but something I read on here the other day really stuck with me. A veteran teacher was writing about how she taught with good methods, but didn't always get the best test scores. She wanted the learning to stick for life. She then commented that a lot of her younger colleagues took shortcuts to cram in info for the test. Honestly, as a younger teacher, I think that sort of fits what I do. I came in just a few years back, and "the test" has always been such a big deal... I got good scores, but did my kids have lifelong learning experiences? I don't think so... That makes me sad, but it's also a reality in today's expectations unfortunately.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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In my system there is no way a fair evaluation would be conducted - teachers the principal hired would get merit pay to reinforce their decision. teachers that are older would get none to push them out - coaches would definitely get merit pay.
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from KS
Old 06-13-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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1. no
2. N/A
3. I have pretty mixed feelings here too.... I also would love to have the extra work I do recognized, but I am really against basing it solely on test scores as that will just take good teachers away from those low income schools and encourage cheating. My hubby has long felt that rather than merit-based pay, tenure should be a bigger deal in public education, in that you actually have to earn it rather than just getting it because you're able to stick around for three years (as it goes in KS).
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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1. Does your district have some type of Merit Pay system
No. I think my union would fight it tooth and nail
2. If so explain how it works.
Until there is an equitable way to compare what I do in my Kindergarten class and what my son's math teacher does in his high school math class, merit pay cannot work.
3. What is your opinion about Merit Pay
I think the possibility for corruption is very high and our world will become even more elitist than it already is. Teaching to the test will become the norm and children will not have life long learning experiences but they'll sure be good at taking tests. They'll cram in a bunch of information and throw it all up (if you'll forgive the analogy) on the test and then forget it all before the next day. How is THAT education?


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Merit Pay
Old 06-13-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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1. no
2. N/A
3. There are too many variables which determines the outcome of student performance. There are some years when, due to personal issues, when I haven't been able to give my best and the students have performed well on tests.
Other years, when I have given all that I had in me to my students, and the results were disappointing.
If admin wants to change the face of education, they need to do their jobs and evaluate and mentor effectively.
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Merit Pay
Old 06-13-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I'm interested to hear how to goes with Pittsburgh Public. I don't work for the city but just outside of it. I'm sure it will eventually impact me though.

1. Kind of, but it's more about what you do for the school, not so much about test scores.

2. We get "raises" but it's not clear on what the requirements are for the raises. A few years ago (four or five) I was told that there were several different levels:
Level 1 - renewing your "agreement" (we don't have contracts, we're at-will) - this was given if you came everyday and did your job
Level 2 - $1500 - this was given if you came everyday, did your job, and went above and beyond your "agreement"
Level 3 - $2000 - this was given if you did all of the above and provided in-service to other teachers in the school
This can't still be the case though because I know some people have gotten more than $2000.

There isn't a "step" system like a lot of schools. Some years I got lower raises, other years I got high raises. No one ever tells you why you got the raise you got. I've also heard that there's a $50,000/year cap on classroom teachers. I haven't hit that number so I don't know for sure.

3. I'm against merit pay. Like klh2 said, there are too many factors. I've worked in some really tough inner city schools and in some great schools with a lot of parent support. There is no comparison. My students now get better test scores because education is valued at home (and I'm supported). At my old schools I didn't have that support and families (for the most part) didn't care about education. They didn't read at home, homework didn't get done, they never studied for tests, etc. How are they supposed to score well when they go home and mom tells them that their homework (and teacher ) is stupid? I'd be getting paid more now than I did back then just because my students are doing well. I haven't changed. I'm the same teacher I was back then. That's not fair. Also, I had great scores last year. This year they aren't as good. I had two different student teachers this year (a terrible idea, I had no control though) which I think is why the scores aren't as good.
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merit pay
Old 06-13-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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1. Does your district have some type of Merit Pay system
Yes
2. If so explain how it works.

It is based on student test scores (supposedly their growth). Teachers' scores are compared with other teachers in the district. The top 50% of the district (with the most growth) gets a bonus.
3. What is your opinion about Merit Pay
It creates animosity, jealousy, and the opposite of teamwork. For example, teachers used to be glad to help tutor other teachers' students. Now, everyone looks out for themselves. Those that teach to the test (drill, kill) are rewarded. Sad.
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merit pay
Old 06-13-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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No
n/a

3. Against it. My idea is that parents get the pay if their child makes improvements on test scores. NOW THAT would make a change. Maybe suddenly parents would make sure their kids were in class on time. They wouldn't leave for vacation for weeks at a time and request some "worksheets" while they are gone. Maybe if parents had a stake in the testing they would invest time into talking about school with their children, sign reading records, quiz them on times tables.

I think merit pay for teachers is silly.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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OMGoodess, imalith! That's a fantastic idea! I love that.


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Old 06-14-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Imalith, you said it so perfectly.
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thanks
Old 06-15-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Thank you. It is something I've thought about for a long time!
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