Its Not on the Test
Last night all but one of the PWC School Board members voted to approve a plan to bring pay-for-performance to the county via a federal grant entitled Teacher Incentive Fund. 31 schools are eligible. The objective is to attract and retain good teachers to under-performing schools. Otherwise known as merit pay, teachers, teachers’ organizations, and teachers’ unions nation wide have been opposed to bringing in this time of evaluation process.
Pay-for-performance requires superior evaluators and has been known to cut down on sharing and collegiality in places where it has been attempted. Research is scarce showing that students learn more or better when their teachers are evaluated under a merit pay system.
According to insidenova.com: (full story at insidenova)
If awarded, the federal grant money would go to teachers and administrators at eligible schools that score well on a county-created 100-point scoring system. That system is made up of student performance, student behavior, instructional leadership, climate and instructional delivery performance.
Under these five categories are several subcategories. For example, student performance has seven subcategories which add up to 25 points on the 100-point scale.
There are 31 eligible schools in the county. Eligibility is determined by the percentage of economically disadvantaged student population at those particular schools.
The money would likely be handed out in a tiered system in which principals, Standards of Learning teachers, special education teachers and English for speakers of other languages teachers would receive the largest share. Depending on how much money the division receives, the awards would likely range from $2,000 to $10,000 per teacher or administrator, said Pedersen.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Those who work in ineligible schools will be out of luck and won’t get this opportunity. Of course, those are the teachers and principals who are dealing with less needy students. I wonder how many teachers will be willing to share with someone down the hall if they are being evaluated via pay-for-performance.
As long as there NCLB continues, the playing field will never be level. NCLB assumes that all kids at the same grade level can learn the same amount of material in the same amount of time. Starting off with a false premise leads to false conclusions.