The regular Five Myths column from the Sunday opinion section of the Post addresses some statements of “truth” on the topic of merit pay popular with politicians and education “experts”.

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And the five are:

1. Merit pay has a strong track record. [That one’s not even true in business]

2. Teachers unions are the biggest barrier to merit pay. – Yes and no. But the merit pay experiments of the 1980s also failed because they were, at bottom, capricious.

3. Principals are good judges of teacher talent. [In my experience, many principals are more building and business managers than they are educators, especially in high schools.]

4. Student test scores offer a simple solution to the evaluation problem. [Crap!]

5. Teachers are most motivated by money. [More crap!]

This is far from a comprehensive assessment of the misinformation thrown around in the debates over merit pay but it’s worth a few minutes of your time.


Image: number 5 by Leo Reynolds, used under a Creative Commons license.