A new center will study whether pay-for-performance bonuses for teachers lead to improved performance by students.

Via Gadfly, a merit-pay experiment in Arkansas is proving popular with teachers and support staffers. However, Florida teachers are resisting a different merit-pay plan.

About Joanne


  1. Ten million bucks to determine whether people are motivated by the prospect of more money? I’m willing to say “hell yes!” and pick up my check. Heck, I’d do it for five million dollars.

    There’s fifty percent savings without any haggling.

  2. My colleagues and I were supposed to receive bonuses one year because we had doubled our projected improvement on test scores. Then the state disqualified us because we did not meet all of our “subgroup goals.” I don’t remember which subgroup it was but there are only four at our school: “Black non-Hispanic Males,” “Black non-Hispanic Females,” “Hispanic males,” “Hispanic females.”

    We thought the whole thing was ridiculous — though I don’t believe any of us would have refused the money had we received it.

    We hadn’t done anything profoundly different that year than we had in previous years. Some of us worked very hard under pretty difficult conditions; others did very little to justify even their regular pay and certainly deserved no bonus.

    I know some rather remarkable teachers doing great things in awful schools. A merit pay system worth anything ought to reward them first.

    How about a merit reimbursment system where those of us who spend a few thousand dollars a year on our students can get some of that back?

    How about a merit overtime system for some of those elementary school teachers I see still in their classrooms when I drive by at six pm?