Sunday, March 07, 2010

Merit Pay In A Sitcom

My husband just yelled in, "You've got to watch this show." Since he knows I am not much of a television watcher, I figured it would be one I would find interesting and went to watch.

The show, Til' Death is about embracing merit pay and the problems that arise from it. A very bright young man will only get A's on exams if his teachers pay him and the principal, a mean, vindictive, teenie bopper, gives kids known to fail, to the teacher she does not like. The teachers all pay this kid to pass because pensions are tied to salaries and merit pay means higher pay checks.

It might be a sitcom, but it accurately portrays the problems of merit pay. Check it out. It will be available online probably tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Eric Hanushek, a Stanford economist, found that while the top 5 percent of teachers were able to impart a year and a half’s worth of learning to students in one school year, as judged by standardized tests, the weakest 5 percent advanced their students only half a year of material each year.

Build better teachers... forget Merit Pay!

Schoolgal said...

Apples and oranges!!!! Everything has to be equal to really judge.

A Phillie Teacher said...

I just checked and see that "Til Death" episode 19 is on Anyone can watch it free. Excuse me - I have some viewing to do :)

Mr. Me said...

Long time reader and occasional commenter- I wanted to chime in on this merit pay system. I do not like the idea. I am a substitute teacher and make my way around the various schools in our area. I was speaking with a good friend on staff at one of the schools that informed me in the math department one teacher with a class full of students with average grades and test scores in the years prior scored in the 95% percentile in the district and the state. It turns out the teacher only taught to the test. Her reasoning was everything on the test meets a state standard. Every question she gave her kids was from the tests released from the state each year as practiced. She would assign additional problems to the students, just change the numbers, but the format stayed the same. The students did no book work and missed a lot of lessons and assignments that all of the other teachers taught. The other teachers were harassed for their low scores, and this teacher gets the praise. It just floored me.