This Pickles comic strip reminds me of some school reform schemes, like merit pay. They’ve never been shown to work, and never will. But that doesn’t seem to stop the reformers from expecting to see “apples.”
Source: gocomics.com via Larry on Pinterest
Okay, I have to jump in here because merit pay has barely been tried. It’s only been tried in very limited forms that, yes, were never that likely to work in the first place. An added bonus for better test scores isn’t going to turn an incompetent teacher into a competent one. If you’re simply criticizing “that” merit pay, then I agree with you. But a pay scale designed to reward performance rather than just seniority DOES have potential to contribute to more systemic change in American education.
Speaking as an educator of 20 years, I worked at various schools with diverse socio-economic make-ups. The problem of merit pay, in my mind, is that if you go by test scores alone, those teachers in schools of lower socio-economic status will clearly fall short. I worked in 1st through 4th grade at one of the lowest schools in our district, yet with the finest caliber of teachers I’ve ever witnessed. When I moved to a school where children came from families that consisted prominently or doctors and lawyers – miracle of miracles – my teaching shined! I didn’t change how I facilitated learning, but those in favor of merit pay would think I improved greatly based off of my test scores.