Education Funding Report Roundup

Survey Finds ‘Gen Y’ Teachers Open to Merit Pay

By Debra Viadero — November 09, 2009 1 min read

A new analysis of national survey data suggests that younger teachers may be slightly more open to merit-pay plans than their older counterparts.

The report released last week by Public Agenda, of New York City, and Learning Point Associates, based in Naperville, Ill., provides a different cut on results from that of the national survey of teachers that the two organizations released last month. (“State of Mind,” Oct. 21, 2009.)

Focusing on “Generation Y” teachers—those who are 32 or younger—the new report finds that 71 percent of that group said they would “strongly” or “somewhat” favor merit pay for teachers who “consistently work harder, putting in more time and effort than other teachers.” Only 63 percent of older teachers, in comparison, said they would favor that kind of pay differentiation.

Generation Y teachers also responded more favorably to the idea of rewarding merit pay on the basis of principals’ evaluations. Sixty-one percent of younger teachers and 52 percent of older teachers said they would “strongly” or “somewhat” favor such a pay plan.

But teachers of all age groups were skeptical about tying teachers’ pay to student test scores. Only 44 percent of the younger teachers, and 47 percent of their more-senior colleagues, said financial rewards should go to teachers whose students routinely score high on standardized tests.

Overall, though, merit-pay plans did not rank high as a policy prescription among the group of younger teachers. They rated it last among 12 proposals for improving teaching.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 11, 2009 edition of Education Week as ‘Gen Y’ Teachers Don’t Reject All Merit Pay

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