New ways to pay

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.

About Joanne


  1. “difficult to implement” shouldn’t be the benchmark; value added should be. It’s difficult to implement public education, but well-worth worth doing. Merit pay is in precisely the same category

  2. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    When students and their parents are held as equally accountable as teachers, then try so-called “merit pay”. It is self-evident that it takes all three partners to succeed. Equal accountability means equal willingness to work hard, equal motivation to succeed. What happens when the teacher is the only one who is motivated? Too bad the out-of-classroom policy wonks and educrats won’t address that reality. ‘Nuff said.

  3. RationalBuddhist says:

    I am not an expert, but your teacher unions seems to be quite weird and dogmatic from a swedish point of view. Surely you have to put the interests of children before interests of labour in school. The trade off is easy, at least for me as a social democrat.

  4. RationalBuddist wrote:

    your teacher unions seems to be quite weird and dogmatic from a swedish point of view

    You might want to examine your own preceptions then.

    For a union to act in the interest of its members seems utterly natural and proper to me. But a nation that embraces the socialist submersion of the individual into the collective to the point that a union’s goals are divided between those of society and those of the membership seems odd and a little bit frightening.

    That’s assuming that your not just indulging in a bit of “moraller then though” posturing of course.