Kerre McIvor: How do you decide who is the best teacher?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 May 2021, 5:19PM
A trial to create more flexibility is school hours needs careful consideration. (Photo / File)
A trial to create more flexibility is school hours needs careful consideration. (Photo / File)

Kerre McIvor: How do you decide who is the best teacher?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 May 2021, 5:19PM

I know the argument for paying teachers on performance has been around for years - ever since I've been hosting a talkback show.  But its been around for even longer than that. 

An article in the Harvard School of Education said that, as early as 1710 said that in England, teachers were paid based on their students' test scores in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

But problems with this approach quickly became apparent, the author wrote. The curriculum narrowed as arts and science classes were no longer taught. Teachers focused on drills aimed at improving test scores, and "teaching to the test" was born. There were even scandals with teachers faking test scores.

For these reasons, pay for performance -- also known as merit pay -- was abandoned.

Over the past three centuries, it has been resurrected numerous times, and in each instance, according to a Harvard educator, it has failed to improve education and was eventually dropped. This cycle has been repeated each time a merit pay system has been launched, including one championed by President Richard Nixon but declared a failure not long afterwards. 

Just about every country in the world has had the debate and will continue to do so because it matters.  Because we care about our kids and we want them to do well. 

I understand that you want to reward the people who do the best, but how do you define the best? 

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