Monday, October 31, 2011

Teacher Pay for Performance Goes to New Lows

Oh Good God.

One of my six readers sent me a link to this Huffingtonpost article on what the State of Idaho has done to the public and charter school teachers in its 29 school districts.

Pay For Performance, a concept begun in the private sector, has been revamped in Idaho so that performance pay is based on several key indicators.

One of them being how parents feel about their children’s teachers.

That’s right, parents get to vote on what teachers get for bonus performance pay. They list several key factors that should go into the parents’ decisions, like communication: notes and phone calls to the home as well as parents attendance at parent-teacher conferences.

That is, one factor that is totally in the control of a teacher, and one factor that a teacher has absolutely no control over. The standard is that teachers must get a 40% attendance rate in order to qualify for the maximum bonus in that area.

Forty percent is dreamworld for most of us.

But really, what you have to realize is that these standards will not be followed, will they? How will parents rate their children’s teachers then? Grades. Grades are the local currency in public schools, and teachers who try and challenge their students by demanding only the very best out of them will suffer the most in this scenario.

Teachers who pass out A’s and “free 100’s” like Jesus passed out the loaves and fishes will most certainly be at the front of the pack in receiving bonus checks.

This is a scenario that promotes mediocrity and further lowering of the academic bar.

Watch out Texas, Idaho is vying for last in education along with Mississippi.

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