Iain Hall has a post on the case for merit pay among teachers. Its seems 2/3 of teachers Australia-wide believe schools are having problems retaining staff and, of those, 70% believe that paying extra to those with additional qualifications and those who are most competent would stem the tide. The sample included about 1/3 of all teachers in Australia.
The Australian Education Union refuses to support merit pay – the Victorian Branch just wants a 30% unconditional salary increase over 3 years with a maximum class size of 20 students.
Teachers must reject the trade unionist ethics that dominate their profession and it seems they do. Why then do teachers end up with trade union representatives who are such deadheads? Bring on performance pay with a vengeance and give at least 100% bonuses to teachers who really excel in their profession.
Adverse incentive effects (selecting only initially bright students, cheating on performance testing) can be overcome with ingenuity. The key objective should be to increase student thinking abilities and enthusiasm for education particularly basic education.
We should provide teachers with incentives to improve their performance and give ambitious, hardworking teachers the opportunity to earn a really good salary that rewards the socially-worthwhile task they carry out.