Education Letter to the Editor

Performance Pay Means Bottom-Line Teaching

October 23, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

In response to “Teacher-Pay Experiments Mounting Amid Debate” (Oct. 3, 2007):

To pay teachers more for their students’ higher test scores is to eliminate their role as educators and make them old-time “pieceworkers” like my mother was in the 1950s: The more buttons she sewed on dresses in a day, the more money she received. Under performance pay, the teaching profession will come down to the bottom line. The driving force behind children’s overall educational experiences will be to get as many high scores as possible on some test.

Funny, I always thought that the teacher’s quest was to make children appreciate education, so that they could become lifelong learners, and so that other good things, like a better life and job, would follow.

Elliot Kotler

Ossining, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2007 edition of Education Week