Education Next Addresses Merit Pay for Teachers

Published February 1, 2005

Merit pay for teachers is featured in the Winter 2005 issue of the scholarly journal, Education Next, published by the Hoover Institution. The issue also includes articles on character education, a No Child Left Behind lawsuit, the program to end social promotion in Chicago’s public schools, teacher preparation, and a series of critical articles concerning coverage of education issues by The New York Times.

In “The Uniform Salary Schedule,” Brad Jupp provides details of the optional merit pay plan established in the Denver Public School system. Most readers will find Jupp’s article especially valuable for its clear description of how public school teachers are currently paid. Most teachers are paid based on a rigid salary schedule that rewards length of service and educational qualifications, not classroom performance or gains in student achievement.

“[T]here are few careers, except teaching, in which professionals are not held accountable for their failures and rewarded for their accomplishments,” comments Lew Solomon in an article where he proposes rewarding teachers based on classroom effectiveness, with bonuses for teaching in difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant environments.

“The traditional K-12 compensation system is obsolete in that it is no longer useful, but, sadly, it is not obsolete, because it is still in use,” writes Solomon.

Education Next is sponsored by the Hoover Institution, the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

George A. Clowes ([email protected]) is associate editor of School Reform News.

For more information …

The Winter 2005 issue of Education Next is available online at Subscriptions are available from the Hoover Institution through the Education Next Web site, by calling 650/723-3373, or by email to [email protected].