Educators focus on obvious mistakes at Merit Pay

Paying for teachers’ performance has been a misunderstanding for decades. In Denver, the educators put another nail in their coffin last week.

On the streets, in the stadiums of concentration and on the marches of more than 100 schools in Denver, more than 3,700 educators sent out a strong message: Enough with the unreliable and unpredictable Denver payment system for bonuses. Teachers and students deserve a fair, transparent and professional salary program that gives their classrooms stability.

“The bonds have not worked and our students are paying the price,” said Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) President Henry Roman.

No more At the end of the two-day strike, teachers had received a clear 20-step salary program, which included an increase in basic salary of 7% to 11% and increased living costs and the opportunity to earn more through career development. Their strike had essentially destroyed ProComp, a Denver-based “professional compensation system” that had made paying teachers so unpredictable from year to year that teachers said they could not qualify for mortgages.

ProComp, referred to as an innovative national model for earnings, was introduced in 2005 after negotiations between the district and the union in Denver to bring more money into the hands of educators. However, as the system evolved, educators could not predict their salary year by year and the size of bonds fell.

In the meantime, teacher turnover is moving away from the upper limit as Denver educators leave for a higher and more predictable salary elsewhere.

“What they gave us is a Wall Street-style bond system that covers the erosion of our salaries,” said college professor Jeff Buck, the first teacher who enrolled at ProComp, to Chalkbeat. “People have finally discovered that, so people are angry.”

DCTA’s furious refutation should serve as a warning to other school authorities or legislators seeking to revive it, or double its earnings. “There is not a single school district in the country that will look to Denver and think,” Oh, I think I’ll try. “No, you should have stopped that and changed that years ago, and they did not do it.” , And that’s the result, “said NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia to Chalkbeat when she was near the picket last week.

What’s up with Merit Pay?

Research and common sense have led to thousands of reasons why paying for merit in education does not work. Here are some:
Earnings payment systems assume that educators are not working as hard or smartly as possible, and they need a bit more motivation to get their jobs done. This is very funny If the teachers were motivated by the pay, they would not be teachers. Peter Greene, Peter’s retired teacher, writes: “A merit wage system … Imagine a world of teachers sitting at their desk thinking,” I have the perfect lesson to teach pronouns in my filing cabinet, but I will not get it until someone offers me a bonus. “
When it comes to measuring success in schools, policymakers often look at student test results. (These standardized tests are incomplete measures for student learning and an even lower measure of teacher performance.) This focus on test results has, among other things, narrowed the curriculum; Handful of fraudulent scandals. In addition, the activities of teachers are ignored for students who never pass standardized state tests, such as art or music lessons or physical education, not to mention caring for their dreams or maintaining their creativity.
Teaching is a profession that depends on a network of teachers in which the learning and teaching performance of a single student is achieved through contact with many different teachers and other teachers.
“Pay for merit undermines collaboration and teamwork, destroying the culture of a school,” writes education historian Diane Ravitch in the Washington Post. Teachers work best when they work together; For example, they plan lessons as a class or department or strategically as a team to meet the challenges of a particular student. Pay for earnings, however, restricts the teacher from exchanging information and teaching techniques. This is especially true because, with the exception of the wealthiest districts, there is always a limited amount of money available for the earnings compensation. Therefore, the number one teacher teachers learn their trade from and learn from their peers is closed. If you think we are having problems in class now, wait until the new teachers can not turn to the teacher.

What works when it comes to paying an educator?

It’s no mystery what works when it comes to paying an educator. Teachers must receive a basic professional salary similar to other professionals. A unique and well-built salary program that offers a professional salary, consistent and understandable steps and as few steps as possible at its base offers many benefits.

On the one hand, it promotes justice. Ensures that the fee is based on objective criteria, eg. On experience and not on gender. Promotes cooperation between teaching colleagues instead of competition. And unlike Denver’s confusing labyrinth system, it’s transparent and predictable. You do not have to guess in September how your payment will turn out in June.

For local unions looking for alternatives, NEA also supports NEA’s Professional Growth Salary Framework (PGSF), which provides a career path for teachers looking for new skills and responsibilities without letting their students back. In this framework, educators can receive salary increases if they take on additional responsibilities, such as advising their colleagues or improving their skills; B. by the National Board Certification. To be effective, these career ladder systems need to be adequately funded.

PGSF works. A single salary plan works. Despite the evidence, some politicians still talk about earning pay and a one-time bonus as if they had worked. This fall, the Florida Education Association’s (FEA) review of apprenticeship vacancies found 4 063 posts. There are still 2,200 teachers left in Florida. Earlier this month, the new Florida governor suggested using bonds to eradicate the shortage.

It is not a promising idea. According to government records, nearly 40 percent of Florida’s new teachers leave their jobs within five years, a rate 15 to 20 percent above the national average. They need mentors, professional support and a decent and professional salary.

With an average teacher salary of approximately US $ 47,000 in 2017, Florida ranks 45th in the US. UU Against payment of teachers according to the rankings and assessments of 2018 of NEA. “A bond package does not affect teachers who get the 45th payment in the nation, and we know that and the governor knows it,” said Fredrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association.

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