I had to excerpt this passionate comment on teacher performance pay. Rather than asking what its implications are for student achievement, this reader focused on what it means for teachers' personal and professional identities. This is an angle I'd never considered before - thank you, anonymous reader.
It starts out this way:
Look at places where teachers have been lured into these plans with money. The experiment always begins with apprehension, a sort of reluctance. The policy wonks explain that this fear is because the teachers have been brainwashed by the unions and don’t understand the science at work. Perhaps. It is also possible that experienced professionals know in their gut when something just feels wrong, even if they can’t explain why.
You can read the full comment here.
Will comments like these have an impact on the merit pay supporters in the UFT, the business world, or the ed commenter/policy wonk world? I doubt it. When you have an agenda, you have an agenda. Cogent arguments and logic be damned when you have all too ineffective teacher unions to kick around.
Leonie Haimson kicks this in:
You might take a look at this report on merit pay from Univ. of Ark.– the no. of teachers who felt duped even after initially approving the plan – and this of course is a very conservative bunch of researchers.
Report w/ appendices here: http://uark.edu/ua/der/Research/merit_pay/year_two/Full_Report_with_Appendices.pdf
A review of teacher statements revealed that 13 of the 22 teachers who commented on the climate of their school felt that the environment had become more negative as a result of merit pay. This was likely attributed to the fact that a large number of teachers did not receive a bonus (see Table 3), even though many of them stated that they were told that everyone in their school would receive something. …
“Teachers were handling things in their own classrooms. Everybody was happy to be here. And then...the merit pay fiasco. And it’s been hell here ever since.”
“I mean...it was ugly...it was just constant people mad. The people that didn't get anything were upset, and I don't blame them, especially since we were told that everybody was going to get something.”
However, seven teachers asserted that merit pay had a positive effect on the environment of the school, resulting in an increase in collaboration and staff morale.