I hope those special education students in Washington D.C. know how lucky they are to have Tiffany Johnson, as their teacher. Ms. Johnson puts so much effort into figuring out what her students need and that has caused them to improve immensely. These kids are fortunate to be living in Washington D.C. where 476 our of 3,600 teachers gave up job security for money and now have teachers who will stay with the profession and make sure they succeed. I pity the ones that have the other 3,124. Can these teachers possibly be doing as good a job if holding on to their paycheck is a priority?
I'm being sarcastic here. Teachers like me, NYCEducator, Chi Town Girl, Ricochet, South Bronx, Norm, Chaz and countless others have stayed in the profession for the love of the job. Sure, money is important but I know the countless hours we have all devoted to helping our students have nothing to do with merit pay because we don't get or want any. (We want decent pay for everyone.) There is no way to justify who deserves it and who doesn't. There are countless teachers in the profession for upwards of 30 years, teachers who didn't leave because the pay wasn't good enough but, in some cases, stayed in spite of the pay not being good enough.
I'm not disputing Ms. Johnson's effectiveness. She probably is an excellent teacher. But, if her excellence is only brought about by the almighty dollar I pity the children when these dollars run out or when the system realizes that bonuses don't buy good teachers.