Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mythbusters

The Washington Post Sunday opinion page has Five Myths about Paying Good Teachers More. This is the second time in recent memory that the Sunday Op-Ed has featured school reform in its "5 Myths" feature. The last time was Five Myths about Education Reform back in February.
His take? Earlier stabs at merit pay didn't really work. One reason: the higher pay was not all that much higher, and two, decisions were made by somewhat arbitrarily by school principals. (Still a very bad idea in my estimation. Too political. Too ripe for abuse.) He adds that basing higher pay on narrow standardized test scores is a poor plan indeed if we want to turn out kids who can think and problem solve.
What does work? Teachers who were polled would forgo a pay raise to work in a building where the administration supported them.
Yeah. I'm for that.
These two Myth columns taken together provide a pretty good overview of the issues in education reform for an uninitiated public.