AUSTIN – House members rejected the pleas of leadership and voted late Thursday to scuttle the nation's largest teacher merit pay program, putting the money instead into across-the-board raises of about $800 a year for teachers and other school workers.
The surprise rebuff of Republican leaders during debate on the state's two-year budget was a victory for teacher groups, who say merit pay is divisive and no substitute for bringing Texas teacher salaries up to the national average.
Proponents said merit pay is needed to persuade top teachers to go to the state's lowest-performing campuses.
"Big step backwards," Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, said of the rejection. "We were leading a movement of performance-based incentive pay. It's back to the old 'spread a little around' approach."
Democrats said the state should use some of its big surplus to boost educator pay. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Teacher Pay Bonuses Based on Test Scores Dead in Texas
From Dallas Morning News: