in the media

Excellence in teaching cannot be improved by merit pay

January 17, 2011

Dr. Patrick Keeney, adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at SFU, conveys his opinion about merit pay for teachers on the National Post.

"On the face of it, the notion of merit pay for teachers seems reasonable. Few would dispute that there are better and worse teachers. We reward excellence and superior performance in many other walks of life, including the world of sports, business, and the medical and legal professions. So why not extend the concept to the classroom?

Yet there are compelling reasons why governments should avoid merit pay — and they have nothing to do with union politics. Framing the debate in simple adversarial terms — unions versus the good of the schooling system — misses a more essential debate about fundamental educational principles. Opposition to merit pay concerns the nature of the teaching engagement itself, and the goals of schools."

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