In a long post over at Eduwonk, guestblogger Chris Cerf, who must have one of the longer titles for an education bureaucrat, writes about merit pay.
I write this as our own state legislature is three months late in passing a budget and even if a budget gets passed anytime soon, it will still leave Illinois second only to Mississippi in state funding support for education. I am also writing this as contract talks between our brothers and sisters in the Chicago Federation and the CPS are getting hotter, with more frequent talk of a strike, and with CPS boss Arne Duncan trying to push in the media for no more than a 3% raise.
And here is Chris Cerf making a long argument for merit pay.
After having been part of more than half a dozen contract negotiations, and as one of the few people (I say modestly) that can actually explain a teacher salary schedule (I will admit that I cannot say the same for school budgets. I challenge anyone to explain what they say.) I, along with a growing number of teacher union folks, have no problem with taking a new look at the way we compensate teachers. I mean, I found it when I got here. I’m not wedded to it.
But you read the Cerf post. Tell me if I’m wrong. It starts out as a general argument for better compensation for teachers.
It argues that quality teachers are the most important factor in student success. It points out that only 4 in ten teachers are in the classroom ten years after they enter the profession.
But then Cerf switches direction.
Merit pay, in itself, won’t solve our retention challenges. But it’s a very good start.
A guy with that long title in front of his name. In the face of a general failure to adequately fund public schools, Cerf thinks we should start with the discussion of merit pay. How about “school funding, a good place to start?”
It was Randy Newman who wrote the song: Big Hat, No Cattle.