Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
An excellent, sensible letter. Thank you, Sir.
Nicely said. If I were a teacher in front of a classroom full of utah students,
and they told me my pay was tied to their performance, I'd be looking for a
cab driver job. Unless I was the phys ed teacher and I was looking at a hand
picked class full of basketball players.
Great letter!There is a reason we pay teachers by years served. As
the daughter of an auto shop teacher, merit pay based on test scores seems to
ridiculous. So often students who are largely unsuccessful in school are sent to
try shop to see if they can do better there. Some may excel there, but so many
have other issues as pointed out in your article, that they cannot succeed. If
we were to really look at merit pay, we would have to rate each student on the
difficulty to educate and factor that in, to appropriately reward those
exceptional teachers who take the challenge to teach the toughest kids. But
clearly that would be so complex and expensive that it would counterproductive.
Unfortunately the problems that we see in schools are the result of society.
Just look at other countries around the world. In some countries, you have to
pass tests to go to highschool and college, otherwise you are sent to a trade
school. Some average 60 kids in a classroom, and maintain higher test scores
than their US counter parts. Some countries will fire the administrators and
teachers in failing schools and replace them.Yes some of the problem
lies with the teachers, but when you have parents who will sue the school
because their child failed a class you can see that the problem isn't
totally on the shoulders of the teachers.At the same time, the
success of teachers is not due entirely to their efforts. For example, if you
have a teacher who only teaches the basic math course that is required for
graduation and compare them to the teacher who teaches an optional Calculus
course, I would bet that the Calculus teacher would come out on top every
time.If you want to fix our schools, first fix society. For what is
being spent per child on public education, they could get a private education.
I have a better idea, lets base the salary of our elected officials on merit
pay! Lets see how they like it!
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