Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Teacher pay raises

Stick with what works

Pay raises for experience run only for about the first 14 years of a teacher’s career, usually ending when a teacher is about 36 years old [“Solid education funding begins with a clear vision,” editorial, Dec. 7]. Those “seniority” raises amount to a little more than a cost-of-living raise.

There is plenty of research indicating that experience brings many advantages in classroom management and teaching skills that would validate the basis for longevity-pay increments.

Merit-pay raises usually do not appeal to teachers because the basis for assessing merit can be seriously flawed. Outcomes of standardized testing might be used as a basis for determining merit; using test scores, teachers working with lower-achieving students would be eliminated. Administrators have biases, such as favoring teachers they have hired. And some teachers are more self-promoting.

Teachers believe that each colleague has a distinctive role to play in creating a successful experience for their students. It is hard to see how to sort the equivalency of one contribution with other contributions. What teachers usually fear about merit pay is that it would be hard to determine a professionally acceptable basis to award that merit designation.

— Mary Johnson, Seattle

Comments | More in Education, Washington Legislature

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►