What Might Merit Mean?
In a comment to my liveblog post, Thomas Schmeling asked me to “provide some information on the ‘merit system’ of compensation that [I] support.” The short answer is that I don’t have a tremendous amount of detail to put forward.
For one thing, I volunteered for the Tiverton School Committee Subcommittee on Evaluations in part to develop my understanding of the various considerations involved, and we have yet to meet. For another thing, a fair portion of he details should be left to administrators to hone according to the actual forces and dynamics in their own districts.
Basically, I just support the idea that compensation and professional advancement should be related to capability — not longevity. (Although one would expect longevity to result in escalating capability in most cases.) I don’t think the one-time bonus structure is very effective, especially if the bonuses are small, and group bonuses probably wouldn’t prove very effective unless the groups are very small. There should be an individually based spectrum, ranging from firing and probation to raises and promotion.
The “afterthought” of my earlier post included a sketch of factors that would be considered while adjusting pay, but the long and short of it is that everything should have an effect, from standardized scores to demonstrable extra work, to student and parent reviews, to peer reviews. By some process that suits the school and district, administrators would factor in these various considerations — a good amount of which could easily be incorporated via objective scales — and produce an annual raise and promotion result.