One of the reasons for the Denver teachers’ strike is opposition to ProComp, the city’s merit pay plan.

i researched merit pay for teachers, stretching back to the 1920s. It always failed.

But it never dies. A zombie idea.

Andrea Gabor explains here why Merit Pay and bonuses fail in both business and education. 

She begins:

“Fourteen years ago, Denver public schools embarked on what was hailed as “the most ambitious teacher compensation plan ever attempted.” It was thoughtfully planned, following a years-long pilot program. It won approval from teachers, businesses, local philanthropies and voters.

“Yet, somewhat prophetically, a 2005 study of the pilot program on which the Denver incentive-compensation model was based declared that it “demonstrates why, even with thoughtful pilot leadership and broad support, a strict pay for performance system — where performance is defined as student achievement — is an inappropriate model for education.””