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Boudreaux: "Merit Pay for Teachers Will Not Result in Better Teaching"

The prospect of higher pay will not prompt teachers to perform better in the classroom, was part of what Economics Prof. Donald J. Boudreaux, wrote to Kathy L. Smith, Chairman of Fairfax County Public Schools, in response to an article in The Washington Post from Rick Nelson, former Fairfax County Federation of Teachers president.

Joanne Jacobs weighted in and her blog's readers have different opinions about what really motivates teachers to do their best at school. Roger Sweeny, says:

Here’s an interesting thought experiment. Most school systems have different “tracks” for teacher pay. Those with just a Bachelors are on the poorest paid track. Higher pay goes to teachers with a Masters. Then there may be additional tracks: Masters with 15 more graduate credits, Masters plus 30, and so on.

What would happen to enrollment in graduate education courses if there were just one track, if everyone were paid the same as someone who had never taken a graduate course? Since my experience is that most teachers don’t think much of the usefulness of ed courses, my hypothesis is that enrollment would go to just about zero.

Geckonomist voices his concerns about frustration merit pay carries on most employees, teachers included:

Are teachers in private schools all get merit based pay? I would be surprised.
And what is merit in education? Even the link to the later pay of the students is laughable, or the same “access” to so called top universities (who discriminate openly in favour of the rich, famous & offspring of alumni).

Of all people i studied with, the ones with by far the highest income are those whose daddies owned big companies and were made director upon graduating.

They would even be extremely wealthy when illiterate.

To base any “merit” ranking on later salaries, is proving one doesn't understand the fractal nature of wealth distribution. But it is difficult to explain to people who strive to get their kids into Yale, …

I have in the business environment for quite a while, and what I know is that employees do not work better because they have a salary increase, they may change their dedication eventually, but the results are not reliable in the long run. So, teachers will increase their dedication to teaching but it won't even last an academic year, being extremely positive!

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