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Argument: Merit pay improves teaching and student learning

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Supporting quotations

Diana Lambert. "School gives merit pay an 'A'". The Sacramento Bee. Apr. 27, 2009: Teachers at Heritage Peak earn an average annual bonus of $3,000 to $4,000 a year, said teacher Lorna Patterson. One teacher earned a bonus of more than $6,000 last year.

"I think teachers in actuality are here to do what we're here to do anyway," Patterson said. "But it (merit pay) makes it that much better."

Merit pay offers positive reinforcement to teachers and keeps them from becoming complacent, said Raymond Woodbeck, school math coordinator.

The Achievement Challenge Pilot Project (ACPP) is a five school merit pay program in Little Rock, Arkansas. Teachers could earn as much as an $11,000 bonus based on how much their students’ test scores improved. Researchers from the University of Arkansas reported on the program: "Students of teachers who are eligible for performance bonuses enjoy academic benefits. Further, many of the criticisms of merit pay programs simply have not proven true in Little Rock."[1]

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