Over at eduwonk, guest blogger GGW suggests a different take on merit pay:
I wonder if these high-performing teachers would instead be comfortable with (and motivated by) receiving merit bonuses in the form of discretionary accounts of, say, $5,000 for the year to spend on the general welfare of kids in the school? A merit slush fund, if you will.
A teacher could buy extra books without red tape, small rewards for the kiddies with the highest improvement on vocab quizzes, a brand new collared shirt for the student who seems to have only one. Ten meritorious teachers could band together and hire a social worker.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.