Should Teacher Pay Be Based On Student Test Scores? Essay example

Should Teacher Pay Be Based On Student Test Scores? Essay example

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For years, educators and government officials have argued what the most effective system of payment is for teachers in the United States. Government officials state that a “merit pay” system, where teacher pay would reflect the students’ test scores, would be the most effective and would increase teacher performance. Teachers, on the other hand, see the merit pay system as a threat to their salaries and fear that they cannot control student performance. The debate will continue for years to come. However, many people will agree that set teacher salary systems are more conducive to teaching students and maintaining a stable learning environment for all.
Merit pay, also known as performance pay, systems have existed since 1862. Beginning in England, these systems focused on how many students attended classes and the number of students passing (Harris). The main goal of this particular system, in the Progressive Era, was to attract the finest teachers to certain areas and to make sure that children in the schools were learning a sufficient education. As time progressed, the same basic goals of the program have remained relatively the same. However, the popularity of the pay-for-performance program has wavered since its origination. For example, when the Russians launched Sputnik, there was a drastic push for academic excellence across the United States (Harris). In turn, many merit pay systems were implemented in hopes of giving teachers plenty of incentives and enticing them to perform to the best of their abilities. Most schools that applied the pay-for-performance plan within their school systems had dropped the program in the next ten years. Many other countries, like Mexico and Bolivia, have also experimented with s...


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...ty of Wisconsin-Madison, Aug. 2007. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. .

Kobakhidze, Magda N. "Teacher Incentives and the Future of Merit-Based Pay in Georgia." Editorial. European Education 2010: 68-89. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.
Rosales, John. "NEA - Examining Merit Pay." NEA - NEA Home. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. .

Smarick, Andy. "Diplomatic Mi$$ion." Editorial. Education Next 2011: 56-63. Education Full Text. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Springer, Matthew G. Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K-12 Education. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2009. Print

Williamson, Ronald. "Education Partnerships, Inc." Education Partnerships Inc. 23 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. .

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