Any Merit to Merit Pay?

One of Sullivan’s readers, a former teacher, rips him for a post where he basically parrots the “No Child Left Behind” style talking point that tying teachers to objective score standards is a good idea. Money quote:

The only option I’d even begin to consider to be realistic is if the merit pay were based on improvement, not targets as proposals are set up now. With an improvement-system more reward would be given to a 7th grade teacher who has students enter reading at a 2nd grade level and who exit reading at a 6.5 grade level, (a substantial increase, even if not the 7.8 grade level targeted by most merit based systems), than a teacher who improves his/her students’ scores from 7 to 7.8 (the standard amount of improvement expected).

One of my favorite parts of his blog is that he isn’t afraid to post well-written counterarguments.

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