Dateline, October 30, 2011: Parents across the state of Idaho will now play a role in whether or not teachers in that state get a pay raise.
According to the Associated Press news article, teacher bonuses in more than two dozen school districts throughout the state of Idaho will depend on how well teachers engage the parents of their students. At least 29 of the state’s school districts have developed merit pay plans based on parental involvement. Some have required teachers make contact with their students’ parents at least twice every three months
Such contacts may be at the local grocery store. A parental contact may be in the form of a note sent home . A more formal contact is also required—one in which the parents are informed specifically about their children. I noted the chance meetings didn’t include the local bar. I imagine a teacher could really rack up some merit pay points there.
Well, maybe not.
Not to be left out of the merit pay increase for teachers is the notorious standardized test scores of a teacher’s students.
An Idaho school superintendent stated he thinks it’s a good idea to include parents, to engage parents and to base merit pay bonuses on how well teachers engage those parents.
The motivation for the teacher now becomes the almighty dollar—not the academic success of the students and certainly not the improvement of classroom instruction.
According to the press release, about 50 school districts and charter schools have chosen not to develop their own-pay-for-performance programs, but rather opted to comply with the state’s plan, which bases bonuses on standardized test scores.
Real learning has been replaced with the repugnant regurgitation factoid on standardized tests. What will happen when the students have to make critical life-changing decisions? Google for an answer?
Kudos to Miami-Dade Schools. They have axed midterm and final exams. That school system has taken this extraordinary step as an attempt to ease the burden on students. Unfortunately, Miami-Dade school students still are required to take state and federal assessment tests.
Stateline.org’s Pauline Vu reports states spent $423 million on standardized tests during 2007-2008 school year. That amount, Ms Vu claims will increase to over one billion dollars. This money lines the pockets of four or five testing companies.
Hello, America. Wake up time!