Cons of Merit Pay

What is merit based pay and does it improve education? Merit base pay is based on your performance, it provides bonuses for workers who perform their jobs effectively, according to measurable criteria. In merit pay an effective way to bolster student achievement and create more effective teachers? While the federal push fur teachers merit pay has only just now found its footing, Louisiana schools started implanting merit pay programs as early as 2003, under TAP, the Teacher Advancement Program.
TAP falls under the umbrella of the National Institute for Excellence in Teachers (NIET), which is committed to ensuring that highly skilled, strongly motivated teachers are competitively in American’s classroom (Mick NP). Merit pays should not be the system of use in schools. The purpose of this paper is to persuade the State Superintendent not to have this merit pay. I will be listing some of the Cons to this topic and discussing them. Some points I will be touching on are , teachers can’t control students lives, and they cant give out grades to students they don’t earn, and the fact that all students learn at a different pace.
Although popular in public opinion polls, merit pay- also called performance pay- faces stiff opposition from teacher organizations when linked to student test scores (Wiley NP). While outside of school teachers can’t control their students lives. Teachers are in the school to teach the students, and to make sure they have them ready to advance to the next level. A teacher is not the only influences on students achievement, family background, home life, prior teachers, and students mobility also are influences on students studies. Student performance is influenced by a lot of things out of teacher’s control.

There is a strong connection between poverty and low test scores among students. Teachers cannot control many of these external factors that would lower a students performance. So how can they be properly evaluated when so many things are out of their hands? The results of unpleasant, and non cooperation with the students, is why there is lower grades and more students not passing the classes. Teachers cannot force a student to work, a lot of students that go to school, are there to learn, which causes distractions to the students who are there to learn.
If a student isn’t there to learn, this makes it very difficult for the teacher to teach them, which is totally unfair to the teacher. Students that come from broken up families sometime have a hard time adjusting to living with one parent for a period, and then staying with the other parent for awhile. Families today are so much busier with both parents working that they do not care like they should about their child’s education. More kids are left alone, due to parents being gone which leaves them unsupervised, allowing the kids more freedom and keeping them from doing their studies.
Parents are to tired by the time they get home that they neglect to make sure the studies are completed. In today’s society, it takes two parents incomes to make a living, which is making homework a problem in the households. So much is crammed into one days studies, teachers send a lot of extra work home with students, which some kids don’t have the help they need to get this work done. Some studies today that kids are doing, need the help of a teacher, and when sent home, on one is able to help.
It isn’t fair for a teacher to have to try and make a student learn that doesn’t want to be there. Grades are mandatory at school. Teachers have to give out grades because it helps to see what level a student is at, so they can see what they need help on and if they are ready for advancement. If grades weren’t given out, many students wouldn’t do their studies, or focus on learning, , and it would make it difficult to know if a student is ready for advancement. Teachers should use the same grading scale so all students are graded equally.
Rewards shouldn’t be given out for high scores, or for schools with the best improvement. This would favor teachers in wealthy neighborhoods whose students came to school with excellent skills. Some schools scores are already to high to show any improvement. Grades are sometimes given out to students that have been dishonest and cheated to get a better grade. Some students think that some kids get a better grade because they are teachers pet, or because he or she plays sports and they need them on the team, so they get a grade they don’t deserve.
Grades really help the students and organize teachers to realize what the individuals have completed and not completed. Money that is giving for test results, will worsen the problems of teachers cheating, erasing answers on tests. It will also avoid consequences of The NO Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Giving grades out, make sure the teachers are teaching all of the lessons, and not skipping through, so all students are getting the whole lesson. Individual students all have to work at different paces, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. No one will want to teach challenging kids.
When you reward teachers for student achievement nobody will want to teach who live in challenging communities and have a hard time succeeding (Solomon NP). Teachers of honor students have a much easier time teaching their classes, these students work at their own pace and don’t need much assistant from a teacher making this teachers job a lot easier. Test score would be a lot higher. A teacher in a class that may have special educational students, or students that are just a little slower, or have problems learning, make this teachers job a lot harder.
These students all need extra help from their teachers, which takes a lot away from a teacher trying to teach their studies each day. This can sometimes cause a teacher to fall behind. When students are struggling, teachers shouldn’t get penalized for wanting to take the extra time needed in helping this student understand the studies they are doing, the teachers should have helpers that can cone in and help take some of the stress of the teachers. These students are more than likely nit going to pass the necessary test required for them to take.
Many people believe that merit pay will motivate teachers and give the incentive to work harder and teach better. Others think it will cause competition among teachers rather than fostering the cooperative needed for school improvement. Sharing is an important part of the teaching profession. Teachers mentor each other, discuss teaching strategies, share lesson plans, collaborate on how to deal with difficult students and parents, and provide a support system for each other. Teachers competing for merit pay could negatively influence that sense of sharing and collaboration. (Kaplin NP).
In a merit pay system, it wouldn’t be fair if two teacher are both doing what they should be doing and one class scores really high and the other cores much lower and both teachers did everything they could to make sure the students were ready for tests. As you can see, I have talked about several cons such as, why teachers can’t control their students, why teachers give out grades, and also how all individual students work at a different pace. As we went through and noticed the cons, a big factor that comes up and is part of all of them is some students do not care, and if they don’t care, they are not going to try.
Students that don’t care can cause distraction in the class which can keep other students from learning. Students have to try their best and care about their education, or it’s not going to get them anywhere in life. Parents need to make their children really understand the importance of a good education and how they need this to make their life a lot better. If a student neglects to get the studies they need, they will realize somebody how important it was to stay in school, and do their best. Sometimes it’s too late to do anything about it.
Merit Pay for teachers have it’s pro’s and con’s. It says it is questionable whether Merit pay has anything to do with students success, but it is always a positive thing when teachers are receiving more pay and in a society that does not value teachers as professionals. Opponents to Merit Pay argue that a better solution to the current educational crisis is to pay all teachers more. Rather than design and regulate a messy Merit Pay program, why not pay teachers what they are already worth (Lewis NP)?

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