Pay for performance works at a southern California charter school, the San Jose Mercury News concludes.
“When money’s on the line,” (middle-school teacher Gene) Astilla said, “it really — how shall I say this? — it really motivates you.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s merit pay plan is in trouble; the governor may not be able to pass a simpler proposal to pay more to teachers with special skills and those who take difficult assignments. The teachers’ union, which declared war on the governor over funding, is even madder about the appointment of Alan Bersin, who alienated the union as San Diego superintendent, to a top education advisory post.
Instead of paying a bonus to teachers who go through the national certification process, why not pay extra to teachers whose students show the most improvement? That’s the argument made by J.E. Stone, an East Tennesee State educational psychology professor who developed the “value-added” method of analysis. (Correction: No, that was William Sanders.) The Heartland Institute reports on a study which found teachers in the top 10 percent in effectiveness were far more effective in improving student performance than teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Their analysis shows the top 10 percent of ordinary classroom teachers in North Carolina — those without national certification — produce student achievement gains 10 to 20 times larger than those produced by teachers with NBPTS certification. Under the uniform salary scale, these top teachers receive no additional pay for their exceptional work.
Linda Seebach adds more.
Union contracts that require the same pay for all teachers with the same seniority push talented women out of teaching to other fields where their intelligence will be rewarded, this column argues, citing recent research.
Between 1963 and 2000, the share of new female teachers from bottom-tier colleges (with SATs in the lowest quartile) more than doubled, rising from 16 to 36 percent. Over the same period, the share of new female teachers who came from highly selective colleges fell from 5 percent to 1 percent—a five-fold drop.
During the same period, earnings of teachers in the lowest aptitude group rose dramatically relative to the average, so that teachers who in 1963 earned 73 percent of the average salary for teachers could expect to earn exactly the average by 2000. Meanwhile, earnings of high-aptitude teachers fell dramatically, as a ratio to average teacher earnings. In states where in 1963 graduates of the most highly selective colleges were making 157 percent of the average salary, they were, by 2000, earning no more as teachers than did graduates from the least selective schools.
Teacher Robert Wright objects to profiles like NPR’s story on an inner-city teacher.
It’s another “Good teachers don’t eat lunch” article. Makes me hungry.
It’s not realistic to expect smart people to teach without decent compensation. Or lunch.