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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Idaho schools take a different direction on merit pay



While Florida school districts work to tie student academic performance to teacher pay, some Idaho public schools have gone a different direction with the mandate that they create merit pay plans.

They're connecting parent involvement to teacher performance. From the Magic Valley Times-News

"It's fall parent-teacher conference time and for some Magic Valley schools, there’s an added incentive to get parents involved.

At Wendell High School, teachers will receive merit bonuses based on the percentage of parents who show up for the conferences.

Parents got automated phone calls reminding them to show up. The report didn't indicate whether any teachers complained.

Here in Florida, we've heard many concerns about how difficult it is to rate teachers based on student performance because of all the things that happen outside of school. That's why the state is developing a value added model — regardless of how complicated and confusing it might be, the goal is to attempt to control for such things.

Using such a blunt instrument as whether parents show for a conference, in high school no less, would likely create an uproar. Parents could punish their kids' teachers simply by not going. But in an era where parent choice is reaching new levels, should anyone really be surprised at this latest twist?

[Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:27am]


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