March 12, 2007

Delaware advocates teacher merit pay

I've dealt with this issue previously. I don't have much more to add other than that if Delaware does implement a "performance-based" teacher pay plan, it had better make sense.

In addition, I have a suggestion: Since the DSTP (Delaware State Testing Program, which begins this week, by the way) only tests math, reading and writing (the social studies and science tests later this year do not count towards grade advancement/promotion), why not pay math and english teachers more right off the bat? It is they who have all the pressure of preparing students to take these tests, after all. It is they who have to deal with the repercussions of the results, positive or negative. As it is, it's already tough to attract good math teachers because they can make more in industry. With the pressure of the DSTP, it's even worse.

Which leads me to another idea: Why not set pay scales based on the relative market for the subject the teacher teaches? For example, again, math and science teachers are typically the most difficult to attract/find. Ditto for foreign language teachers (yay!). Set those pay scales higher. Social studies and phys. ed. usually have a glut of potential hires. Set those scales lower.

With these two brainstorms, math teachers would be making the most as the market for those teachers has the greatest scarcity, and they have the added "pressure" of the DSTP. English, foreign language and science teachers would rank somewhere thereafter, followed by social studies and phys. ed. Other subjects' markets would determine where they would fall on the scale.

Thoughts?

Posted by Hube at March 12, 2007 07:08 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Um, if you based pay on relative market, just how much do you think a French teacher would make? Not nearly as much as a Spanish teacher. I'm not so sure I agree with your merit pay scheme, and I'm not sure I like the idea of merit pay for teachers at all. It's impossible to quantify or fairly distribute.

In addition, to pay math/language arts teachers more to start with seems unfair. What if they know their subject matter, but they can't communicate/teach worth beans? You've got a crap teacher potentially making more than a bunch of really excellent teachers. Like your French teacher, for example ;-)

Posted by: Bronwen at March 12, 2007 09:20 PM

You'll never have improvement without some change in the unions. Employees with no repercussions for poor performance have no incentive to do well except their own conscience. Would that that were enough. Sadly we live with(and as) humans.

Posted by: jef at March 14, 2007 09:52 AM