Today’s Gazette has yet another mention of “merit pay” – an interesting read, but again, always a little negative.
I think that we need merit pay. I think that great teachers who try harder and accomplish more should be paid more than bad teachers who don’t try and who accomplish less.
So I guess I’m not a union favourite. But for most of us, this is the way we live and like it or not, it gets people performing at a higher level.
As Henry Aubin says though, “the devil is in the details”. Ok, you’re right – it is. But does that mean we shouldn’t do it?
I am 100% for merit pay. But merit pay should be doled out by local (school level) committees that are largely union based, but include administrators too. The fact is that in any given school, the teachers and administrators all know who the top performers are and who the bottom performers are.
The top should be compensated and encouraged. The bottom should be mentored and encouraged to be better, and if they cannot, they should be sent on another career path.
A “top performer” may actually have the lowest class success rate in a school. But, that teacher may be baking the best cake that he can with the lack of ingredients he has.
A “bottom performer” may simply skate through his day, having a good crop of students who could perform at much higher levels, but that teacher may rather take it easy.
Believe me – everyone in that school recognizes both.
Let’s not shy away from the discussion. There IS a way to do this, in a fair and equitable fashion that can only result in higher quality education all around.