Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump backs merit pay for teachers — but one Florida school system now says it doesn’t work - The Washington Post

Trump backs merit pay for teachers — but one Florida school system now says it doesn’t work - The Washington Post:

Trump backs merit pay for teachers — but one Florida school system now says it doesn’t work

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During the campaign, President Trump said “it is time” for merit pay for teachers. In Florida, the Orange County Public School district thinks otherwise, declaring a years-long experiment with performance pay a failure.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a report by the district, given to the Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition, says plainly: “Performance pay systems are not an effective way to increase student achievement,” the report concluded. The paper wrote:
If they were, there would be consistent improvements since the law went into effect.
Instead, Orange’s fourth-graders have shown declining performance in language arts while its sixth graders have gotten better in that subject. And its third graders have posted flat scores in math, year after year.
On national tests, Florida’s eighth-graders have done worse, in both math and reading, since the law’s passage.
Experiments with merit pay for teachers have been tried for decades, but there is no evidence that they work in improving student performance. Florida, starting under the 1999-2007 administration of former governor Jeb Bush, has been at the forefront of the movement, requiring that districts implement a performance pay plan by 2003 — but there wasn’t a great deal of district buy-in because there was no state funding for the program.  In 2011, Republican Gov. Rick Scott passed a new law changing the way teaches were evaluated — with 50 percent linked to student standardized test scores — and creating a performance-based pay system as well as ending job protections.
The Sentinel reported that Orange County officials want the law changed and plan to share the report with Florida legislators.
Diane Ravitch, an education historian before she became a prominent anti-corporate school reform advocate, has written extensively about merit pay, noting in this 2010 piece:
One of the signature issues of business people and conservative Republicans for the past 30 years has been merit pay. They believe in competition, and they believe that financial rewards can be used to incentivize better performance, so it seems natural for them to conclude that merit pay or performance pay would incentivize teachers to produce better results.
Note that they assume that most people — in this case, teachers — are lazy and 
Trump backs merit pay for teachers — but one Florida school system now says it doesn’t work - The Washington Post:


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