President Obama loves merit pay. So does Arne Duncan. Editorial writers from coast to coast support the idea proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that “teacher employment be tied to performance, not to just showing up.” Dan Willingham wanders into the fray with his latest video, “Merit Pay, Teacher Pay and Value-Added Measures,” and offers six reasons why “value added measures sound fair, but they are not.”
The political winds certainly seem to be very much at the back of merit pay plans. Months or years hence, there may be a temptation to describe the “unintended consequences” of such plans. Call them unintended, but not unanticipated.