How well prepared for college will our students be? How will we reverse brain drain? What will the quality of our workforce be? How attractive will the state be for recruiting and retaininig key employers?
Part of the governor's plan for improving Pennsylvania's public-education system includes new testing for students and new evaluations for principals and teachers. Even the liberal think tank Center for American Progress makes the case in this new report that teacher evaluations should play a larger role in assessing student performance, and now might be the time to consider ideas such as merit pay:
"New educators, both teachers and principals, are more receptive to differential treatment of teachers than were prior generations. Seventy percent of new teachers in a representative sample said that the fact that teachers do not get rewarded for superior effort and performance is a drawback. Eighty-four percent of these teachers said that making it easier to terminate unmotivated or incompetent teachers would be an effective way to improve teacher quality. The influx of so many new educators also provides an opportunity for supervisors to evaluate teachers more rigorously now, before these individuals gain tenure."What about this? Is it reasonable to think that tracking the performance of teachers and schools and giving bonuses to high-performing teachers might produce higher-performing students?
- Dan Fink