Argument: Teaches should be paid on merit, not seniority and titles

Issue Report: Merit pay for teachers


Marcus A. Winters. “WINTERS: Straight A’s for performance pay”. Washington Times. April 24, 2009: “Under the present system in most public schools, compensation reflects only the number of years a teacher has been in the classroom and the number of advanced degrees she has earned.

When a company can’t measure its employees’ productivity, it often bases pay on factors like experience and credentials that can be determined and are supposedly associated with it. The problem with this approach on education is that we know from a wide and rarely disputed body of research that years of experience and degrees obtained are simply unrelated to a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom. Yet we pay teachers only on the basis of factors unrelated to whether their students actually learn.”

The Atlanta Journal – Constitutuion quoted Dr. Eric A. Hanushek, education policy expert at Stanford University, as underscoring the premium current pay systems put on mediocrity: “Bad teachers are given a lifetime contract. The hiring of principals and teachers is one of the few places we don’t make marginal corrections. We just go with our first guess.”[1]