Advocates of using pay to improve teacher performance grow excited over the addition of federal money to supplement local district pay incentives. But maybe they shouldn’t.
Contrary to other provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), there is little research to demonstrate that paying a few teachers more will improve student performance. Cheapskates looking for quick solutions advocate pay incentives, though, and some districts have plunged headlong.
Houston is reaping the whirlwind at the moment. Incentive pay went out earlier this week, and disparities showed up immediately.
It would be appropriate, in a way, for Houston teachers who are upset that they didn’t get bonuses to protest by calling in sick.
Or by stamping their feet and crying.
Or by holding their breath until they turn blue.
It would be appropriate, in a way, because it would be an immature response to an immature accountability system.
I’m not being snide about HISD’s bonus formula, despite some of the anomalies that have been identified, including no bonus for a teacher whose entire class passed the TAKS test nor for a teacher who had been recognized as bilingual teacher of the year.
There are several articles available on the payout, the way the plan is structured, and the problems. I understand the Houston Chronicle also has a web site featuring details of the payouts, including teachers by name, and amounts paid.
This is a great de-motivator. Who thought this through? No one.
- Houston Chronicle, Superintendent apologizes to teachers
- Houston Chronicle, Teachers speak out
- Letters to the editor
- Associated Press January 24, Bonuses to 8,000 teachers