Apr 13, 2010

Merit Pay for Teachers?

Teachers, contrary to critics' reports, are not "afraid" of merit pay. The issue is not fear - it's fairness. Teachers know what goes on in a classroom.

Did the critics spend time trying to contact a student's mother whose phone is disconnected? Did they write notes home that mom never saw, or perhaps was unable to read? Did the critics sling green beans in the cafeteria and wipe down tables because the budget cuts have left all the front lines shorthanded? Did the critics spend a day supervising OCS with a girl whose attire, behavior, and language screams "Notice me!" Did the critics break up a line of boys standing in front of the girls' restroom, where they could have favors for a quarter, and wonder what kind of family does a girl go home to, that she values herself so little?

All I'm saying is, there are some things that go on in school that have nothing to do with tested outcomes. There are plenty of cultural factors that affect learning that the teacher can't control.

Every kid doesn't come from a nice, white, middle class suburban neighborhood with parents who feed him a good breakfast, dress him properly, drive him to school, volunteer on Field Day, and help him with his homework. If you did or yours does, congratulations. Count yourself blessed.

And let the rest of the children whose culture does not value education have a teacher who is there by Divine calling, and who deserves not merit pay based on things outside of her control, but combat pay for showing up and doing her best.

And then doing it again the next day.

And the next.

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