Merit pay only works if all the students are exactly the same

Dear Editor,
More on merit pay for teachers:
Once upon a time there was a litter of puppies. They had the
same mother, father and environment. They had the same adult dog
disciplining, teaching, nurturing in pretty much the same manner
for all pups.
Dear Editor,

More on merit pay for teachers:

Once upon a time there was a litter of puppies. They had the same mother, father and environment. They had the same adult dog disciplining, teaching, nurturing in pretty much the same manner for all pups. But when they took their Puppy Exit Exam some ran faster, jumped higher, barked louder and some had learned more and more rapidly than the rest.

You can’t get more “alike” than identical twins. Same everything. Probably same teachers, same subjects. But they will have different abilities, interests, attention spans, study habits and different scores on their Exit Exam.

Throw 30 of these developing humans with the above traits into a classroom. Add a multitude of different environments that change! (Moving, separation, divorce, new siblings, new parents …) Do we want to pay a teacher according to how their (these) students do on a test?

I appreciate the letter that was placing students with identical GPAs and math in two Algebra classes – then had two teachers teach each class – then measure the achievement at some point. This determining the effectiveness of the teacher and/or method being used. BUT, the only way we could get this organization done in an applicable way would be to revert back to the old Latin Grammar schools, where all students took the same subject and all students came from very similar backgrounds. Whew!

The only way that teachers can be “compared” in a fair way, is to provide them with identical raw material to work with. Well, we folks just aren’t identical!

Roger Anderson, Gilroy

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