Republican lawmakers are ignoring external factors that affect student learning by introducing a bill that would make teacher “performance” the primary factor in determining educators’ pay, education advocates told the Associated Press in an article published over the weekend.
House Bill 4625, introduced May 7 by Rep. Pete Lund, R-Romeo, would make it illegal to pay future educators based on their experience and advanced degrees, except for few exceptions.
Instead, the bill would make teacher performance the “primary” factor in determining pay, as opposed to its current status of being a “significant” factor. Performance would be primarily measured by student growth on standardized tests.
The AP reported Sunday that “such a policy could lead to competition in schools where cooperation and idea-sharing is essential, and punish teachers working in low-income areas where factors beyond the teacher’s control can hinder student growth.”
Basing teachers’ pay on high-stakes testing can force educators “to engage in a competitive, sort of cutthroat nature with one another,” said state Rep. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights. “I don’t think that cultivates the type of environment we want in the classroom.”
In addition, doling out pay to teachers based on their students’ test scores could unfairly punish teachers who serve academically- or economically-challenged students, state Rep. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, said.