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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Names of Hillsborough schools' merit pay recipients for 2008-09 released

11

March

Pile-o-money It's the list that nobody likes us to publish. But when $7.4 million in tax money is being spent to award merit pay to teachers - many of whom oppose the notion of getting bonuses based on student test results - we feel like the public should see how the money is being spent, and then decide if it's a wise investment.

Before the link, let us offer a few observations.

Of the 3,287 recipients of the $2,269.85 award (half for part-timers), 72 work at Sickles High School. By contrast, three work at Blake High School. Thirty-three teach at Adams Middle, compared to one at Orange Grove Middle Magnet. Forty-two work at Bevis Elementary, compared to 1 at Washington Elementary.

There's a small caveat here, in that 288 teachers claimed exemptions to having their personal information, including work site, released publicly. So the numbers might be a bit off. But still, doesn't this raise an equity question? Generally speaking, schools in the more affluent 'burbs have way more teachers getting a bonus than those in the urban core - even after the district pledged to ensure the money is more widely spread.

Here's another tidbit. Megan Allen - Florida's teacher of the year, one of the four finalists for national teacher of the year - did not receive one of the bonuses. Does that mean the system rates the wrong things? For who among us would honestly argue that Allen is not a good teacher?

Between the Race to the Top and Hillsborough's Gates Foundation grant for teacher effectiveness, this debate promises only to get more heated. So why not start here, with the newly released list of Hillsborough MAP recipients?

Past coverage: A tale of two teachers (2/24/08); Teachers' income doesn't reflect results (9/13/08); 2006-07 awards.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:53am]

    

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