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”.


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.