Tag Archives: merit pay

Education should have merit!

By Chris Kniesler, Executive Director of Solutions for New Jersey

Two major initiatives proposed by the Christie Administration in New Jersey call for instituting a merit pay system for teachers and eliminating automatic teacher tenure. While these are bold moves for New Jersey, we have clear models we can use as a guideline. If we make use of existing research, we do not need to re-invent the wheel.

Merit pay and retention based on effectiveness were the norm in the early 1900’s. As the unions grew in power during the 1960’s, they forced the replacement of these practices by automatic raises and guaranteed tenure. Since 2000, the cost of education has risen dramatically and education levels have declined. Bloomberg News recently reported that US students ranked a dismal 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading out of 34 industrialized countries. In college graduation rates, we dropped from 2nd in the world to 9th.