Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I want merit pay, but it won’t make me “better”

In news that really surprises no teachers at all, merit pay has found to have no real impact on creating the mythical entity of “the perfect teacher”.  The study conducted with the help of the National Center for Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, found that teachers with performance bonuses faired no better than the averaged salaried teachers at getting students to pass stupid ass tests that mean absolutely nothing to their future. 

In other news, the male teachers of this study demanded an apology from Vanderbilt because they had mistakenly assumed that the Performance Incentives would give them an erection that lasts longer than four hours.

Lame joke?  Yes.  Lame study.  Of course.  What, you really needed to spend millions of dollars to find out that teachers really give a shit about their job regardless of pay?  You haven’t been reading the decades of statistics  that show that administrative support and working environment far outweigh income when teachers are polled on why they leave the profession?  Newsflash, if we did this for the money, society would really be screwed.

This is not to say that I don’t like the idea of merit pay.  I think that it’s disgusting that some teachers that I know receive more than I make and work half as hard with half the results.  But merit pay wouldn’t make me any better of a teacher or make your kid any better of a student.  And don’t you dare use this excuse to say, “Well good, then teachers are paid a fair wage”, because we aren’t.  And while I’m all for merit pay, I’m also for every teacher walking out of his/her classroom for a couple of weeks and daring society to find babysitters, just to make a point about the wage value of teachers. 

Now that would be one hell of a study. 

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