Obviously, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I really tried to work with the school administration to help address truly important issues that seemed essential to retaining teachers and helping holistically increase student achievement. However, that style of proactive problem-solving was great for getting some things done. It was not, on the other hand, effective at building strong relationships between me and my administration.
The purpose of merit pay is to, theoretically, improve the quality and retention of high-qualified teachers. If this is the case, let’s implement policies that attract and incentivize teachers to stay working in the profession – especially in low-performing schools – instead of punishing teachers with punitive merit-pay (based on test scores), suffocating bureaucracy, and mounds of inconsequential paperwork.
I could go into the lack of social workers in high-poverty schools, the lack of police officers at high-poverty schools, the low-quality buildings in high-poverty schools, the overcrowding in high-poverty schools, but I think there is already enough here for one post. These issues cannot be addressed without funding.