What's a teacher worth? Houston joins the push for merit pay

Cook, Glenn
March 2006
American School Board Journal;Mar2006, Vol. 193 Issue 3, p4
This article offers a look at pay-for-performance initiatives in U.S. school districts in a bid to recruit and retain high-quality teachers. In January 2006, Houston, Texas became the largest district in the nation to approve a merit pay plan but distinguished itself from other initiatives by linking the bonuses to student test scores. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has proposed a bonus program for teachers whose competence is tied to increased student achievement. According to Jennifer Azordegan, an analyst with the Education Commission of the States and author of a new study on teacher salaries, the lack of research on merit pay plans makes programs such as Houston's a scary experiment.


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