Wednesday February 3, 2010 | CMS Pay for Performance

February 2, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman recently announced a set of initiatives aimed at reforming the school system. One of those proposals was to examine a possible move to performance based pay for teachers. Teachers’ groups say it puts an unfair burden on classroom teachers where performance and quality are hard to define, but others say it’s a long needed fix to ensure the best teachers for CMS students. We’ll examine the performance based pay model for teachers.
Patte Barth
– Director, Center for Public Education
Mary McCray – President, Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators
Keith Burnam – Founder/School Leader, KIPP School of Charlotte

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  1. As a former teacher, I have watched the idea of pay for performance
    circulate for years. To me the issue is: How are the teachers going to be measured? Test scores are the worst way; children who won’t try are another problem; the subjectivity of the evaluators is a major hurdle. The use of educational research to justify actions in education is a fallacy. Educational research in itself is a fallacy. If one studies the methods of research as I did, one sees how unreliable it is. That test scores prove what a student knows is another fallacy, especially in English and the social studies. Merit pay for teachers is a huge issue, and non-educators can’t really know what it truly means.

  2. I am a former (on educational leave) teacher with CMS. I am currently enrolled in the masters program at UNCC for School Administration. The only way pay-for performance can be considered equitable is for the schools themselves to become teacher-centered. Currently CMS is administrative centered, with teachers having very little voice in programs and initiatives that are initiated. Additionally I believe that if teachers could be employed and paid at least part-way if not fully during the summer for nothing other than planning and developing plans and curriculum, both teacher morale and student performance would increase.

  3. There is a huge difference in quality of work environment for teachers across the district. More often than not, the most desirable schools for teachers are the schools where student performance is not sub-par. This seems to counter the mission of public education. We need the best teachers at the worst schools and in the most stressful working environments. This will certainly require an incentive. If a monetary incentive is given based on student improvement, would we not have the best teachers gravitating toward schools where the opportunity for student improvement is the greatest? Would this not equalize the quality of education across the district?

  4. Your guest needs to reread a grammar textbook. “Joe, John and myself went to visit a student.” is not correct. It should be “Joe, John and I went to visit a student.” It is bad enough hearing someone use the word myself instead of I, but to hear a teacher use it incorrectly is very sad.

  5. Re: Bank of America Discrimination Ruling on 2/2/10

    Comments – It would probably be a worthwhile exercise for Legal Council to look into the hundreds of African American Executives
    that have been laid off in the last 2 yrs. And/or the number of
    African American Executives that were demoted several band
    levels, with Bank intentions that the associate leave on their own
    (in essence, forcing them out).

  6. Ms. Pleasant,

    Your comments about educational research are disturbing. Some of such “research” isn’t research at all, but it’s used to justify things like standardized tests. Educational research within specific disciplines, physics and astronomy for example (my fields), is making great changes in the ways these subjects are taught, and for the better. Most people in the public schools, and I’m including both faculty and administrators, are woefully unaware of such research. It’s not the same junk that most administrators generate as they work on their Ed.D. degrees. Your comment about educational research being a fallacy just made its way into my classroom notes on critical thinking (I include a detailed discussion of logical fallacies). If you’re interested, I’ll be more than glad to give you very specific references to educational research in the sciences that is certainly valid and has withstood repeated systematic testing. Ironically, I can demonstrate how poorly public school teachers are prepared to teach science. Interested?

  7. A huge problem with performance pay is that teachers must not be held accountable for parental and sociopolitical influences that actively seek to undermine education (e.g. religious schooling, parents who tell children they don’t have to listen to teachers, parents who tell children teachers are brainwashers, right wing talk radio, parents who bully schools into letting students opt out of certain lessons, parents who don’t emphasize the values of education, etc.). My institution (college) has a performance pay program, but I’ve opted out of it so no one can hold that “carrot” against me.

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