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View Diary: New Study -  Merit Pay does NOT work (156 comments)

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  •  One thing that has been surprising to me (8+ / 0-)

    in education is just what you say:

    Those who make the decisions are often not well-informed or have favorites.

    Now, I know that principals are terribly busy people. They are rarely able to spend a good chunk of time really observing a teacher. Many times I have seen administrators make flash judgments (good and bad) about a teacher's performance, based on what may be a wildly unrepresentative sample of the teacher's abilities. Sometimes administrators are influenced by what they think they will or won't see. Sometimes they conclude a teacher is meeting the students' academic needs just because Teacher X has better classroom management than Teacher Y. I could go on and on, but what's interesting is that there's often a real divide between who TEACHERS identify as good teachers, and who ADMINISTRATORS identify as good teachers.

    •  yes, once a principal (5+ / 0-)

      gave low marks to a wonderful teacher because she didn't have any plants in her room.  :(  Nobody could figure that one out.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Thu May 14, 2009 at 10:02:31 PM PDT

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    •  Teachers vs Administrators? What about Students? (0+ / 0-)

      I have not thought about this issue enough to speak with any authority, but I have always liked the idea of giving more power to the students and parents. In school, the students knew who the good and bad teachers were.

      It seems to me that giving more choice to students to pick their teachers gives a valuable data point for analysis. Rewarding the most desired teachers along with limited standardized testing and administrative evaluation to eliminate the "easy A" classes seems the start of a workable solution.

      By including student preference as a criteria, you allow a broader range of variables to be considered than simple test scores can achieve. And yes, I'd extend this concept to school choice as well.

      •  Let's extend things the right way: (0+ / 0-)

        Extend the tax districts state-wide, with Federal equalization of tax base per capita.

        Start there.

        Then let EDUCATORS meet and design a state-by-state solution, with local imput, and refusing to throw out a balanced approach to testing if it supports statistically meaningful, information-rich combination of objective and subjective criteria.

        Begin funding regional teacher's colleges, with online emphasis, for improving one's knowledge about the subject taught, and general best-practices research.

        Reintroduce group music and dance at the elementary level, with a good period of recreation, and a  45 minute (minimum) lunch.

        Create working groups between K-12 and colleges, and give them the legal support to recommend legislation--after banning business lobbying for educational laws at state and federal levels.

        Begin a sustained effort to corral the mass media so that it mitigates its damage of the social fabric, and begins to model respect for education (beyond bottom-line arguments, even), and explore vigorously the usefulness of various disciplines--not just the hard sciences, though to see that in the general media that reaches for the money of the young would be manna from heaven.

        And start three-language education in the elementary school.

        That would be a good start--a Monday in a six-day re-creation of our school systems by the gods of education.

        Sorry if this is a bit silly-sounding, but I am exhausted after a semester of teaching, and will finally get some rest after I stop typing and go to bed. Oh, one more note: I also think merit pay (outside possibly a few targeted programs)is a dollar-consuming Chimera.

        Habeas Corpus:See Hamilton quoting Blackstone in The Federalist Papers, number 84.

        by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri May 15, 2009 at 01:28:24 AM PDT

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      •  No, the students don't always know who (0+ / 0-)

        the good and bad teachers are.

        What about cult-leader teachers who manipulate their students social-emotional needs to create a little "worship me" cult? There are teachers who are so loved and favored and, yes, nearly worshiped by their students; and these same teachers rarely teach much in the way of standards-based curriculum because doing such work gets in the way of the social-emotional need-for-approval-and-acceptance feedback loop.

        I could easily manipulate my students into thinking I'm the best teacher in the school without teaching them a damn thing.

        Your assumption empowers psychologically needy teachers who the other teachers would know don't teach anything, but whose students roam the school singing their praises and calling into question anything any of the legitimate teachers do because "Ms. Whoever says that doesn't matter" or "Mr. Whatever doesn't make us do that."

        Popularity is already too much of the high school experience. Don't extend it to determining my salary amount, for God's sake!

        Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. - Alexandre Dumas

        by elropsych on Fri May 15, 2009 at 03:24:07 AM PDT

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      •  there are some difficulties with that (0+ / 0-)

        given issues of maturity levels of some students.  One can clearly include student input in the process of evaluating teachers.  It should be a part, not all.

        I do get students signing up for AP Government as sophomores or sometimes as an elective later because they want me as a teacher - they know me through siblings and friends.  Since I am only AP Gov  teacher, if they get into the course they get me.   The same was true on those occasions when I taught Comparative Religion as an elective.

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Fri May 15, 2009 at 03:40:02 AM PDT

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