Should Teacher’s Salaries Be Based on Student’s Academic Performance? Is a student’s failure in a class an indication that a teacher or professor did not adequately perform his or her job? There are two points of view on this issue. Many will argue that teachers should be paid on a merit system, or Pay for Performance system. There are some that believe that there are too many external factors in a class room for a teacher’s salary to be based on how he or she performs in the class room.
Teacher’s pay for performance will be highlighted by first discussing what is pay for performance, next, detailing the definition of teaching, and finally, exploring the question of should teacher’s salaries be based on a student’s academic performance. Pay for performance is essentially when an employee is allowed to be partly responsible for his or her pay increase. A company will set goals as well as allow the employee to set his or her own goals and if the employee meets those goals, he or she will get a raise.
These raises are based on levels of performance ranging from one to five. A level of one means that an employee failed to meet his or her expectations. A level of two means that an employee needs improvements in some areas. A of three means that an employee met his or her expectations. A level of four means that an employee exceeded his or her expectations. A level of five means that the employee far exceeded his or her expectations or as some managers imply, he or she is a “super employee”.
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Pay for performance is designed to inspire employees to work harder so they can obtain higher raises and bonuses if they reach a certain level. Employees may also be motivated to perform better the next year. The question remains, should teachers be on this type of merit system? Teaching is conveying knowledge in formal learning institutions, whether it is a school, K-12, or a university or college. Teachers have a major influence on a student’s life. They plant seeds of knowledge that continue to grow with a student.
They support, empower, engage and care for their students. Today, most teachers are paid based on their seniority or academic degrees. Perhaps they should be paid based on their level of accomplishment and responsibility. Teacher evaluations should be based partly on student achievement data and their raises should be based on student’s academic performance. If teachers were paid based on student’s academic achievements, they would put forth more effort to provide a higher quality of teaching.
Competition would be raised among teachers and a possibility of higher salaries would encourage them to perform better. If teachers were paid for their performance it might also differentiate teachers who care about their student’s performance from those who only want to collect a paycheck. On the other side of the coin, there are also reasons why a teacher’s salary should not be based on student’s academic performance. The first being that there is a lack of standard academic performance tests, which means there is no measurement criteria.
There is the possibility that some teachers might give students higher grades to benefit their salaries. The strongest argument against teacher pay for performance would be that all students do not have the same level of intelligence, commitment, or determination. It may not be fair to hold a teacher responsible for a student that cannot learn or do not want to learn. Given the scenario that a teacher’s pay increases would be based on student’s academic performance, their levels of performance could range from one to five also.
A level five would indicate that all students have passed the class with a grade of B or better and performed well on a standardized test. A level four would indicate that all students passed the class with a grade of C or better. A level three would indicate that 80 percent of the students passed the class. A level two would indicate that at least 50 percent of the students passed the class. A level one would indicate that only 20 percent of the students passed the class or a student has failed the class more than once under the same teacher.
Teachers that perform at level one should not receive pay increases. A performance level of three or above should receive salary increases. An example of a level one performance would be if a student failed the same class two or more times or if only four out of twenty students passed a class, then that teacher or professor obviously has not imparted the knowledge to their students that they set out to convey. An example of a level three teacher’s performance would be if his or her students continuously increase their academic performance or pass standardize tests.
In conclusion, I assert that teacher’s salaries should be based on their student’s academic performances. If teachers hit their levels, they should receive higher raises. It they fail their students, their salary should not increase. There are a lot of educators that would disagree with this assertion; however, given the state of our education system, a change needs to be put in place. If teachers are required to perform better and are paid better based on their performance, then students will perform better.
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