Merit Pay For Teachers For Many Reasons Essay

Merit Pay For Teachers For Many Reasons Essay

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I have never seen a topic that contains two words that strike as much fear and diverse opinions in teachers as merit pay. There are two distinct sides to this topic. On the pro side are usually state officials and some administrators, on the other are teachers. I chose the topic of merit pay for teachers for several reasons. The first is I enjoy reading the different economic theories that both sides use in arguing their points on merit pay. It is very interesting to see how some basic economic concepts are misused and misunderstood when money is at stake. As is often the case in studying economics, what appears to be common sense on the surface might not be when you take a closer look at the economic logic behind the argument. The second reason I chose this topic is that I am an example of why some of the pro arguments are not as valid as claimed. I used to work in the public realm as a stock broker and was attracted to teaching so I switched careers. I guarantee it was not for the pay. I have studied economic influences and concepts long before I became a teacher and I have some very strong opinions on a merit pay system for teachers.
I think that a merit pay system for teachers can be a good idea if it is administered in a fair and consistent manner. In Indiana the merit pay system that is being proposed is not reflective of fair and consistent. I will show the pros and cons of merit pay for teachers and why Indiana is headed in the wrong direction with the system they propose.
I have found several pros and cons when researching merit pay for teachers. The pros include: the tenants of capitalism is to reward results, teachers will be driven to work harder, merit pay programs will help recruit and retain the b...


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...This means that the teaching shortage would be eliminated as there will be an equal number of teachers demanding jobs as there are jobs supplied.
A fourth pro is that underpaid teachers will have the chance to make more money. Every article I have read on the subject lists this as desirable outcome. Both sides agree that paying teachers more would be a positive outcome, they simply differ on how that should be accomplished. Any type of merit pay system lists this as a pro and I think that it is an obvious outcome of a merit pay system.
The last pro argument I would like to discuss is one that I was surprised to find. This one is not based on an economic concept, but more of an American style of thinking. The last pro argument for merit pay for teachers is that since American schools are in crisis mode and test scores are dropping, then why not try merit pay?

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