My friend Ricochet in Georgia is very worried about merit pay as she, and all teachers should be.
She doesn't mention anything about "dumping" so dumping might not be done in her district but it is done in mine. "Dumping" occurs when kids failing one class are suddenly put in another class with another teacher. Certain teachers are always permitted to "dump" kids and their statistics are always good. Certain teachers are always given the "dumped" kids and their statistics show this as well.
At our union meeting we discussed this dumping and one teacher felt it was a good thing because "some kids do better with certain teachers." While this is true, it is not fair. These certain teachers don't deserve the problems just because they can handle them and they certainly should not be taking hits in the pocketbook because they do a good job.
I'm known as the 60% woman because I am one of the certain teachers. I always resented being dumped on but lately it has gotten out of hand, particularly when we are constantly being compared and put down when our stats don't measure up.
Merit pay will do nothing to improve education and in my opinion, it will only make it worse. The teachers that have a choice will never voluntarily work with problem and struggling students. These kids will always be left with the inexperienced teachers and the teachers without the ability to say no.
You can't get water from a stone and you can't get everyone to learn everything.