Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Vitti’s very risky merit pay gamble
After a week of details being dripped out about his merit pay plan the details of the plan finally spilled out.
The nuts are:
20k guaranteed to teachers with high VAM scores at 36 schools with poor test results to stay at them the first year, with an opportunity to make that, half that or nothing depending on test results over the next two additional years.
17k guaranteed the first year for teachers with high VAM scores to transfer to one of the 36 schools with an opportunity to make that, half that or nothing depending on test results over the next two years.
That’s a lot of money. That’s a lot more than what I reported before, 20k over 3 years and what was given in the Transfer Incentives for High Performing Teachers study, which was 20 k over two years.
This is an incredibly risky gamble.
First it uses VAM scores, which have been highly criticized because of all the variation that may occur.
Next there is no evidence that says transfers to middle schools are effective and transfers to high schools have never been studied. It seemed to work well in elementary school but that’s it.
How is this money going to affect teamwork and collaboration? I have to tell you if you were doing the same job as me and making 20 k more I think it would piss me off especially if the difference between us were a percentage point or two and the distance was a wall.
Merit pay has worked in one kind of questionable study and then just on the elementary grade level.
Finally how can Vitti talk about the need to get our best, brightest and most experienced to our needy schools and still bring in a hundred TFA teachers? It doesn’t make sense. Okay that’s a little off topic but it is a head scratcher.