The assumption behind merit pay is that teachers are not trying hard enough.
The assumption is that a cash bonus will make them care and prod them to work harder and get those test scores up.
For 100 years, school boards at the state and local level have tried merit pay and it has always failed to produce higher test scores.
There are many reasons for this.
One is that merit pay is intrinsically insulting. It presumes that it takes a cash prize to incentivize lazy teachers.
But when there are two groups, one offered merit pay, the other not, they seem to get the same results.
That’s because the teachers in both groups are doing the best they can to get their students to learn.
As one teacher commented today:
|Yup, once i’m eligible for merit pay I’ll bring out my really good lesson plans, until then, they’re staying in my desk!|