Friday, March 07, 2008

Merit Pay Yields Mixed Results

By The Associated Press

Texas school districts are paying teachers smaller bonuses than what was recommended by lawmakers, one factor that has led to mixed results in the first year of the nation's largest merit pay plan, according to an independent study funded by the state.

The $100 million Texas Educator Excellence Grant program received a favorable response from teachers in the 1,148 schools where bonuses were awarded, according to the study.

But researchers said they are unsure if the program will prove to be a long-term success, in part because of massive turnover among schools participating in the merit pay program and smaller-than-expected bonuses. Although the Legislature recommended awarding teacher bonuses between $3,000 and $10,000, the average bonus awarded across the state was $2,263.

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