To the Editor:
Regarding your recent article concerning the federal push to “reform” teacher salary structures by linking pay to increases in test scores or other agreed-upon targets, such as holding school leadership positions (“Teacher-Pay Experiments Mounting Amid Debate,” Oct. 3, 2007):
Perhaps the feds should attempt this experiment in their own ranks. As a U.S. Army veteran, I still have the distinct bad taste of remembering how hard I worked as a Specialist 4 for a limited wage, while federal workers at the Department of the Army with grades of GS 10 to GS 12 felt perfectly comfortable doing the bare minimum to draw a wage that was triple my own. If performance-pay research demonstrates positive results, let the government reform the civil service system first—maybe then we can wipe out the federal deficit.
A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2007 edition of Education Week as If Merit Pay Is So Good, Use It on Federal Workers