If there’s one thing on which parents, teachers, and administrators can all agree, it’s that Charlie Brown’s absentee teacher wah-wah-wahing off screen is the benchmark for what to avoid in the classroom. How schools do that is the source of endless debate, but one of the more recent tactics is pretty simple: Pay teachers fat, 6-figure salaries for better performance.
Currently, teacher’s pay in this country sucks: More educators are quitting the field, fewer are entering it, and salaries are inconsistent: Some states offer under $60K while others dole out $100K, like D.C., where pay based on performance is already in place. That kind of structure, the argument goes, rewards teachers based on how well they engage your kids rather than what’s still primarily the norm: pay based on how long they’ve been teaching (or how many degrees they’ve racked up).
Would competitive job evaluations and the chance for big bonuses give the world more Ms. Frizzles and fewer Ms. Trunchbulls? While pay-for-performance is still unusual enough nationwide to draw broad conclusions from, there’s another thing that parents, teachers, and administrators can all agree on: happy, high performing teachers have a direct effect on the quality of your kid’s education and early development.
And, if you ask D.C.-based math teacher William Taylor, who brought 90 percent of his students at a high-poverty school to performing above grade level — and made $131,000 in 2013 in the process — he sounds pretty happy.
[ H/T: Slate]