Editorial Debate On Incentive Pay

Posted in 80th Legislature, Around The State, Education, Public Schools at 3:47 pm by wcnews

The pro-incentive pay,, Leininger funded TPPF goes first, Without incentive pay, quality teaching is at risk.

Teacher groups argue that performance pay is arbitrary and subjective. But private-sector employees know performance pay works, because they see it in practice every day.

During a large part of the 20th century, our nation engaged in a Cold War against an ideology that shunned the individual in favor of a misguided, collective attempt to create equal outcomes. To our enemies, the value of the individual was merely its value to the state. There was no place for ingenuity because there was no individual benefit derived from it. Over time, their vision of the world could not compete with a capitalist vision that values individual achievement.

The point is not that our education system is communist, but that it takes a collectivist approach to compensation that ignores individual achievement and rewards mediocrity.

Well, now that the editorial has made if perfectly clear that techer’s unions aren’t a bunch of Commies like we fought in the Cold War, let’ move on.

Next up the TFT, a teacher’s union, Incentive pay would fail teachers and students.

Teachers have been saying that the mania for testing has put us on the wrong course for quite some time. For example, 92 percent of teachers responding to a testing survey stated that they were opposed to incentive pay tied to test scores.

Story’s commentary also contains inaccuracies. The vote in the Texas House giving all teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians an additional $850 a year is a real pay raise, and it will be added to the salary for all these positions if it remains part of a final budget bill. Declaring that it isn’t a pay raise because a minority of the state’s teachers could have received more under the incentive plan is sheer fiction.

Story’s claim that the state “committed an additional $3,000 per year to teachers, though excellent teachers can gain thousands more through performance-based pay” is just bad math. Test-driven bonuses would reach fewer than a third of teachers at best under Story’s $3,000 assumption and even fewer than that if bonuses for some totaled “thousands more.” In fact, an $850 raise is simply what it takes to keep last year’s across-the-board teacher pay raise from being eroded substantially by increases in the cost of living.

Reliance on results of standardized tests to determine who gets the incentive pay is a bad, bad plan.

Read them both.

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