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Teacher Salaries: The Movie

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Bill Ferriter reports on his involvment in a very interesting-sounding initiative called The Teacher Salary Project, a sort of evolving online documentary intended to bring attention to the teacher pay issue. It's being produced by, among others, novelist Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, who—you might remember—co-authored the much-talked-about book Teachers Have It Easy a few years ago. (The title, of course, is ironic.)

For his part, Ferriter thinks we've reached a "tipping point" on teacher salaries at which "changes to the ways that we reward teachers are truly possible." And if he has his druthers, those changes will come largely in the form of merit pay:

While I believe that there is a central need to raise salaries for all educators—consider that the average starting salaries for educators currently stands at $31,753 while the average starting salary for college graduates in non-education majors stands at $42,229—I also believe that blanket increases for all educators regardless of performance cheapens our profession.
2 Comments

To me it is unelievable anyone would propose Merit Pay without first studying the history of merit pay. After studying the history of merit pay, it is then unbeleivable to me that someone would propose merit pay.
Merit Pay is nothing more than the failed Russian Communist Economic Platform.

Keith is correct....merit pay has been tried in other countries, especially Great Britain and did not work. As long as teachers are paid by tax dollars, and resources are limited and the competition for those resources is fierce at the same time many citizens are screaming that their taxes are already too high...there will never be enough money to make "merit pay" a truly successful program. Will a thousand dollars or two, or maybe three be incentive enough? Then my health insurance increases because the school division canot afford my merit pay and my health care costs. My kids college education cost more, food prices go up, energy prices skyrocket, sorry...but that is not enough. Secretaries on Wall Street get bigger bonus' than that.

What if the school division cannot meet their financial obligations at the end of the year? Will they have a set amount of money to divide between all qualifying teachers? Will the money set aside for merit pay be rationed? Will Principals have a "merit pay" quota? Who determines how much a teacher receives? Will it be based on who "sucks up" the best? Is this an overt program to monitor and deflect division criticism?

I am an elementary art teacher....where do I fit into this program?

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  • EastCoastTchr: Keith is correct....merit pay has been tried in other countries, read more
  • Keith Newman: To me it is unelievable anyone would propose Merit Pay read more

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