The Instigator
theundeadpie
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Pancake-fairy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component for teacher compensation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,190 times Debate No: 10451
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

theundeadpie

Con

Contention 1: Merit pay does not work
Sub point 1: It does not improve education
a.Merit pay does nothing to improve student performance A study by the Urban Institute found some positive short-lived effects of merit pay, but concluded that most merit pay plans "did not succeed at implementing lasting, effective ... plans that had a demonstrated ability to improve student learning. ...little evidence from other research...that incentive programs (particularly pay-for-performance) had led to improved teacher performance and student achievements."

b."The idea of merit pay, sometimes called pay for performance, was born in England around 1710. Teachers' salaries were based on their students' test scores on examinations in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The result was that teachers and administrators became obsessed with financial rewards and punishments, and curriculums were narrowed to include only the testable basics. ... So drawing, science, and music disappeared. Teaching became more mechanical as teachers found that drill and rote repetition produced the 'best' results. Both teachers and administrators were tempted to falsify results, and many did. The plan was ultimately dropped, signaling the fate of every merit plan initiative ever since."

Sub point 2: Student achievement cannot be accurately measured.
a."the problem with merit-based pay is that there's no reasonable, rational, consistent way to measure performance... teaching is more art than science. Every student is different, with a unique perspective, background, learning style, and, more importantly, pace of development. To penalize a teacher for having a group of students who develop more slowly than others is absurd. No matter how good the teacher is, there's no way to force a child to develope faster than they're capable of doing." Teacher merit is too hard to measure for merit-pay to be fair "Oppose Merit-Based Pay for Teachers". The Falcon's View. March 10, 2009

b.Standardized Test Scores May Be Unreliable. Most merit pay programs are tied to the scores students receive on the tests required by Bush's No Child Left Behind Law. As the American Federation for Teachers and the National Education Association have pointed out, these standardized test scores are seldom reliable and do not provide an accurate barometer of a teacher's performance."
"Top Ten Reasons Why Merit Pay for Teachers Is a Terrible Idea". Education Portal. July 10, 2007

Contention 2: PUNISHES TEACHERS FOR UNCONTROLLABLE FACTORS
Sub point 1: Academic achievement is very difficult to define which is what merit pay is determined by.
a.David Riegel, a former classroom teacher, argued, "Teacher evaluation is more complicated than simply looking at test scores. It requires careful examination of specific teacher behaviors in the classroom, of how a teacher relates to students, and his or her command of the subject matter they are teaching. This cannot be judged simply by looking at test scores, which may be high in some cases in spite of uninspiring instruction: it requires an effective and highly skilled administrator who knows what she is looking for when she observes a teacher interacting with her students, and who is skilled at helping teachers improve. In short, pay for performance provides an easy way out when quality supervision of instruction is what should really be taking place."

b. [Mary Gryphon of the Cato Institute says, "The system can't simply reward high scores. If it did, it would favor teachers in wealthy neighborhoods whose students came to school with excellent skills. Nor can the system reward only improvement. If it did, it would unfairly penalize teachers whose students were already scoring too well to post large gains."

Sub point 2: Doesn't account for the different types of students.

a.But success in terms of test scores depends on many factors, mostly too obvious to mention, outside the teachers' control. Not the least among these, and perhaps less obvious to outside observers, is the support of fellow practitioners. In many cases, a child's learning requires the support of others besides just the classroom teacher. – david reigel
b.You can't pick your students upon whom your salary might depend. Those in favor of merit pay often use the private sector as a comparison point, saying essentially that most people are paid by how hard they work or how many cases they win or how much they sell. And all that's true. But a salesman isn't forced to spend his time on customers who clearly don't want to buy his products. Lawyers don't typically take cases they can't win. – David Reigel
Pancake-fairy

Pro

I think it's good.
I think.
Debate Round No. 1
theundeadpie

Con

No, merit pay is not good, as stated in my first contention.

Contention 1: Merit pay does not work
Sub point 1: It does not improve education
a.Merit pay does nothing to improve student performance A study by the Urban Institute found some positive short-lived effects of merit pay, but concluded that most merit pay plans "did not succeed at implementing lasting, effective ... plans that had a demonstrated ability to improve student learning. ...little evidence from other research...that incentive programs (particularly pay-for-performance) had led to improved teacher performance and student achievements."

b."The idea of merit pay, sometimes called pay for performance, was born in England around 1710. Teachers' salaries were based on their students' test scores on examinations in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The result was that teachers and administrators became obsessed with financial rewards and punishments, and curriculums were narrowed to include only the testable basics. ... So drawing, science, and music disappeared. Teaching became more mechanical as teachers found that drill and rote repetition produced the 'best' results. Both teachers and administrators were tempted to falsify results, and many did. The plan was ultimately dropped, signaling the fate of every merit plan initiative ever since."

Sub point 2: Student achievement cannot be accurately measured.
a."the problem with merit-based pay is that there's no reasonable, rational, consistent way to measure performance... teaching is more art than science. Every student is different, with a unique perspective, background, learning style, and, more importantly, pace of development. To penalize a teacher for having a group of students who develop more slowly than others is absurd. No matter how good the teacher is, there's no way to force a child to develope faster than they're capable of doing." Teacher merit is too hard to measure for merit-pay to be fair "Oppose Merit-Based Pay for Teachers". The Falcon's View. March 10, 2009

b.Standardized Test Scores May Be Unreliable. Most merit pay programs are tied to the scores students receive on the tests required by Bush's No Child Left Behind Law. As the American Federation for Teachers and the National Education Association have pointed out, these standardized test scores are seldom reliable and do not provide an accurate barometer of a teacher's performance."
"Top Ten Reasons Why Merit Pay for Teachers Is a Terrible Idea". Education Portal. July 10, 2007

I have shown reasonable evidence that proves that merit pay does not work, and has not worked in the past.
Pancake-fairy

Pro

It worked for me.
Debate Round No. 2
theundeadpie

Con

It may have worked for you, but according to my first subpoint:

Sub point 1: It does not improve education
a.Merit pay does nothing to improve student performance A study by the Urban Institute found some positive short-lived effects of merit pay, but concluded that most merit pay plans "did not succeed at implementing lasting, effective ... plans that had a demonstrated ability to improve student learning. ...little evidence from other research...that incentive programs (particularly pay-for-performance) had led to improved teacher performance and student achievements."

Merit pay plans have shown some positive short-lived effects, but there as been little evidence to show that merit pay works in the long term.
Pancake-fairy

Pro

Coral is a really bad name for a kid.
Teachers who work hard and put extra time into making sure their students understand and learn the curriculum should get more money than the teachers who sit around, assign things without telling the students what to do, and making toast instead of teaching.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 7 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
Conduct: CON, because PRO treated the debate like a joke.
Arg.: CON; Pro had no arguments whatsoever.
Sources: CON, as PRO had no evidence at all.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
theundeadpiePancake-fairyTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by pofoformofo 7 years ago
pofoformofo
theundeadpiePancake-fairyTied
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Vote Placed by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 7 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
theundeadpiePancake-fairyTied
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Total points awarded:60