Across the country, governors are proposing new ways to pay teachers, Education Week reports.
Democrats and Republicans alike are calling for merit pay, pay for performance, and other ways that deviate from the generally inflexible salary schedules under which teachers are paid. Though many of the proposals are still only rough sketches, they reflect governors’ desires to increase teacher salaries.
But because state budgets remain too tight for generous across-the-board raises, and new accountability rules demand significant student-achievement gains, governors want to reward the best teachers, said Michael B. Allen, the program director for teaching quality at the Education Commission of the States.
“By and large, they don’t want to raise teacher salaries without accountability,” said Mr. Allen, who tracks teacher issues for the Denver-based clearinghouse on state education policies.
Alternative methods of paying teachers have been proposed in states as large as California and as small as Rhode Island.
No Child Left Behind may lead to acceptance of bonuses for experienced teachers who agree to teach in low-performing schools or work with hard-to-reach students. That’s not as difficult to implement as merit pay.