Reading a Slate interview with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on how success builds on the past, Miss Eyre opines that merit pay for teachers can’t be fair because “our success with our students is always cumulative.”
Pissed Off Teacher can’t teach calculus to students who haven’t mastered basic algebra; NYC Educator can’t teach newcomers to the United States how to speak English unless they can already communicate in some language. And when my students showed great improvement on the state ELA exam last year, I knew most of the credit had to go to their elementary and earlier middle school teachers. How could I have taught advanced essay writing skills to students who couldn’t read or write a simple sentence?
This is why merit pay, as most “reformers” imagine it, won’t work.
Believing that one teacher can make students do anything feeds the myth of the hero (or martyr) teacher, she writes.