Oklahoma State Superintendent has submitted a budget that includes merit pay. Who has merit pay in your school and how does it work? Is it fairly given to teachers who "deserve" it? If so, how do administrators decide who deserves it?

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Usually it's a complex soup of ratings, data and witchcraft; I know some folks in some charters that swear it's pretty great and get 5-10k bonuses


It’s the witchcraft that would throw me. So glad I don’t need to worry about it. Just have a decent salary schedule.

We don't do merit raises here, and I can definitely see how that could be confusing. I would hope if they follow through, it would include detailed information about the criteria for earning said bonuses. Otherwise it could have the opposite effect, tanking morale and leading to more turnover and staffing shortages.

Intrinsically unfair. In every school some teachers have a better student demographic especially AP teachers. What about those of us who have a wide range of students disabilities , or have a student who has ADD etc who is through no fault of their own is constantly disrupting classes. The teacher who has the kid that who is the classic classroom bully . Or the ESL/ELD teachers who have rolling entry. Exactly what legitimate value of measurement signifies merit?

My friend at the charter is a SE teacher. I asked the same question about fairness and demographics.
Here's a summary of the response.
-every teacher sets goals related to their role. Bonuses are based primarily on goals and eval ratings. So the AP lit teacher sets a goal based on AP scores in a number of ways, performance, average scores, comparison to historical performance ect.
The SE teachers goals are different than AP because they do something very different.
They also get some bonuses based on school ratings from the state, as well as system goals like enrollment and grad rates.
In the end, good teachers make extra money, so do improving teachers. The bonuses get paid at the start of the next year, so it helps with retention too.
Often, since teachers of advanced classes have different expectations, they tend to have a harder time hitting all of the marks for $.
They added, that they get the max amount every time, based on attainable goals.

I’m all for merit pay, as long as a base salary schedule remains what it is now. I think it’s an excellent idea for raising pay.

Not all 7 year teachers are the same. Some are mediocre. Some are good. Some are great. And frankly, some teachers deserve to make more money than others. Some teachers do deserve the salary they have now, others deserve 20 thousand or more in raises.

It’s not unfair in the slightest. All other professional jobs have salaries that are dictated by the skill and success of the individual. To me, this is the salary fix, not raising pay for everyone. The baseline stays the same, but great teachers can negotiate a better salary to stay in the district. It will help us retain the best teachers, and make under-performers question why they aren’t getting a raise and improve or leave.

And no, this isn’t just dictated by AP kids and tests scores. So much more would go into this. People know who the great teachers in each of our schools are, regardless of the students in their class.

I should be able to say (somewhat fictionally) “I arrive here on time every day, tutor students twice a week, have the best test scores in the department, have better class reviews by students, better scoring on all observations, and higher rapport with the student body than the teacher who is late, refuses to tutor, has low test scores, mediocre observations, and has poor rapport with students. I deserve more money than this person”

Now, if both teachers have the same degree and years teaching, they make the same. One clearly deserves more. Who cares about the under performers feelings. They need to improve.

Our state had leadership bonuses for a few years. The money was distributed to the districts and they then set their own standards for “leadership.” My district went with department heads/grade level leaders, mentor teachers, and a few other things. The money ultimately went away because some districts divided it up equally for everyone under the argument that standing in front of a classroom makes you the de facto leader for that period. Politicians cried foul and took the money back.

We do not necessarily have merit pay but after a certain amount of time of work, we have mandatory raises

I don't think it's fair to say teachers who "deserve" it. That sounds subjective and can be a slippery slope to favoritism

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