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Task Force To Report

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A Congressional task force on merit pay was scheduled this week to issue its final report, which calls for experiments with merit pay at the state and local levels.

With a few exceptions, the 13 recommendations in the final report of the 21-member Congressional panel are not significantly different from those included in an earlier draft. (See Education Week, Sept. 14, 1983.)

However, one major recommendation, calling for the federal government to spend about $800 million a year to support salary increases for teachers who meet specified higher standards, was dropped from the final report.

The task force was established by Representative Carl D. Perkins, Democrat of Kentucky and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education. The chairman of the panel was Representative Paul Simon, the Illinois Democrat who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.

The final report recommends that school systems and schools experiment with new "organizational styles" in order to improve the working conditions of teachers, and it urges the federal government to support research on objective methods of evaluating teachers. These proposals were not included in the draft report.

As did the earlier version, the final document recommends that states and school systems experiment with various ways of linking teachers' pay to their performance; that the federal government sponsor summer institutes for all teachers; and that the government also establish a scholarship program for talented students who agree to pursue careers in public-school teaching.

According to Congressional aides, some of the task force's proposals may be submitted to the Congress as legislation.--tt

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