Governor Mike Pence plans to increase performance pay for teachers, but some argue the policy he outlined in Tuesday’s State of the State address is not in teachers’ best interests.
Purdue political scientist Robert Browning says the policy may be a way to pacify both conservatives who favor performance pay over raises, but still give pay increases to the 90-percent of teachers who qualify for bonuses because the state regards them as “effective”.
“That’s what it sounds like. If 90-percent of them are going to get it then it’s not really performance pay,” says Browning. “So it’s kind of a clever way of satisfying most of both groups, not everyone’s going to be happy.”
Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith says the policy would be better if performance pay was granted to a school or corporation as a whole.
“I think when you begin talking about ranking teachers based on student test scores and then determine who outperforms the other, by and large most teachers are more in favor of cooperative spirit rather than that competitive pitting one another against each other,” Meredith says.
Meredith says she hasn’t spoken with the governor about his plan.