Advancing a Free Society

Teacher Merit Pay Will Move Districts Forward

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For as long as anyone can remember, a public school teacher's effectiveness and performance in the classroom have had little to no impact on decisions about whether she is retained by her district or laid off, how she is compensated or assigned to a district's schools, or how her professional development is crafted. Instead, all of these critical decisions are made on the basis of quality-blind state policies, like the notorious "last-in, first-out" mandate governing lay-offs, and tenure rules that allow teachers to have job protection for life and "bump" less senior teachers when jockeying for positions.

To their credit, Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio House have been trying to transform the system by which the state handles these crucial teacher HR decisions. The biennial budget bill passed by the House would put in place a teacher evaluation system that incorporates student academic growth and several other key job-related performance factors and would rate teachers according to four tiers. Basic personnel decisions around tenure, placement, dismissal, and professional development would be tied directly to the evaluation results.

Continue reading Terry Ryan at