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How do we know which teachers are successful and which aren't? The district has created a new evaluation system. (photo by Elizabeth Lavin)

Poll: Will Merit Pay For Teachers Transform Dallas Schools?

Yesterday on Learning Curve (our new education blog, if you haven’t already heard), Eric wrote about how it’s not the possibility of becoming a home-rule district that is the most significant reform effort under way in Dallas ISD. It’s instead a measure that the school board approved last week: merit pay for teachers.

I’m sure you could guess the basics even before reading the details. The best teachers will be paid significantly more, and the evaluation system will identify the worst teachers:

The program will be watched by educators around the country because it’s designed very differently from similar (often failed) merit-pay plans across the country. (For details on this TEI plan, go here, but bottom line is that a teacher’s performance grade is based 50 percent on classroom performance, 35 percent on student achievement/tests, and 15 percent on student surveys.) Bottom line: this is incredibly important change in the way the district compensates teachers

Do you agree that this change will lead to positive transformation for DISD? Or are classroom educators unfairly paying the price in the name of reform?