Recently, there have been a number of headlines around the country about controversies surrounding performance-pay bonuses that districts are either planning to hand out to teachers, or already have. Houston educators, in particular, weren’t happy after a list of the beneficiaries was published in a local paper. Those not on the list, they complained, might be maligned as ineffective, when, in fact, some teachers of the year didn’t even receive bonuses. How could that be? Well, many bonuses are tied to student performance, measured by standardized test results--in math and reading, mostly. So educators who don’t directly impact those areas, or whose skills with students aren’t apparent on paper, may not be considered.
What’s your opinion of performance-pay bonuses? Are they an effective, fair way to reward teachers? Should “performance” be based on students’ standardized test scores, a review of a colleague’s performance in the classroom, or other factors? And should beneficiaries, along with their bonus amounts, be made public?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Talkback blog.