Teacher Merit Pay Fails in NYC Before Florida Schools Start Program | Politics

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Teacher Merit Pay Fails in NYC Before Florida Schools Start Program
Politics, Schools

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local education advocates are calling on Governor Rick Scott to look to New York City after their teacher merit pay program was abandoned Monday.

"I applaud New York for doing what's fiscally responsible and realizing that political ideology shouldn't set the tone for what we put into practice," said Colleen Wood, Save Duval Schools Executive Director.

The program in New York City rewarded the entire school based on performance.

Here in Florida individual teachers would be rewarded.

Wood has rallied against teacher merit pay since it was first introduced in Florida, and she thinks the state should follow in New York's footsteps.

"When we make a mistake we have to acknowledge it, and we can't continue to throw good money after bad into a system that's being proven right now not to work," she said.

A study released today by the public policy institution RAND Corporation blasts teacher merit pay as ineffective, even for teachers who ended up with additional money in their pockets.

"The vast majority of teachers who actually received bonuses said that the bonus didn't affect their performance," said lead author of the study, Julie Marsh.

Marsh says the money didn't make a difference in student performance either.

"We didn't find that the program improved student achievement at any grade level," she said.

The policy has been a top priority of Governor Rick Scott. It was the first bill he signed into law back in March, when he told First Coast News how important merit pay is to his platform.

"Everything we measure in life, we improve. This is something that's very good for teachers," said Scott, at the time.

Colleen Wood, however, argues that it's not good for schools.

The state is not providing financial assistance to implement the program, which she said will put more of a strain on already struggling districts.

"We're all looking for what will fix public education and the true answer is not one anyone wants to hear. It takes a lot of work. It's hard work, and it takes a good bit of time," she said.












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