This story by the Boston Herald brings up a lot of relevant issues about the structuring of incentive-pay programs.
In essence, the program in question would give AP teachers bonuses based on the number of students who earn passing scores on the test. But the union thinks that all teachers should share in the payout. There is a lot of requisite finger-pointing on both sides, and the reporter refers to “union grinches.” (Bet you didn’t know that even journalists are getting into the Christmas spirit early, too.)
One of the things that I hear a lot from my union sources is that all teachers, not just a select few, should at least be eligible to win pay bonuses, so it’s not hard to see why the Boston Federation of Teachers would be unhappy with this program. On the other hand, just spreading money to all teachers regardless of some kind of criteria doesn’t really amount to performance pay at all; it’s a raise for everybody.
Can you think of a compromise here? Let us all know how you’d structure this program.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.