To the Editor:
The concluding paragraph of your Feb. 7, 2007, article regarding the Houston schools’ new pay-for-performance plan (“Houston in Uproar Over Teachers’ Bonuses”) sums up the entire piece. You report that a prekindergarten teacher who was passed over for a bonus would be unable to attend a Feb. 8 meeting on the new pay system because she’ll be “receiving her national teacher of the year award” that day at the National Association for Bilingual Education’s conference in San Jose, Calif.
Two rhetorical questions immediately came to mind. What popularity contest did this teacher win to “qualify” for her teacher of the year award? And which teachers’ union paid Education Week to publish this blatantly biased slam against merit pay for teachers?
Teachers’ being paid on objective results for their students’ performance is the manifest destiny of education reform. At long last, teachers are getting paid for their actual performance in the classroom, as opposed to the anachronistic notion of paying them for degrees earned and years of service.
A version of this article appeared in the February 21, 2007 edition of Education Week as Performance-Based Pay As ‘Manifest Destiny’