There are a number of articles about this, but the one at WISTV does a fairly good job of explaining the situation.  To sum up,

Automatic yearly raises would be out, and a new incentive plan would be in. But many South Carolina teachers have concerns about the bill, and are worried that student performance will weigh heavily on how they’re compensated.

Governor Nikki Haley and State Superintendent Mick Zais are both Republicans, and both campaigned on basing teacher pay at least in part on how their students perform. This bill could allow that to happen, and that has some teachers worried.

Now, I need to do some research on Governor Haley’s stance on this, because I usually agree with her on most things, but if she truly supports a teacher pay scale that is based on student performance then I am in definite disagreement.

This bill does not necessarily lead to the use of student performance as a measuring stick for teacher pay…

The bill does not lay out a new pay scale. Instead, it calls for an “incentive compensation plan” which would be designed by a committee of teachers through the Department of Education. It also gets rid of automatic pay raises, and lets districts decide whether to give teacher’s pay increases each year.

The bill is expected to pass, but we won’t know how teachers will be evaluated or what factors will be included in the incentive compensation plan until that committee gets to work.

…however, it does seem like the ultimate goal.  There are a number of reasons that this is a bad idea.  To start, if anyone thinks that teachers are the main reason for poor student performance, especially in poor economic areas, they should think again.  Maybe they should look at a popular culture that places little to no importance on school?  But that would be a much more difficult problem to fix.  Some of the family situations these kids are in are just not suitable for success – sure there are exceptions, but for the most part, an excellent teacher is not going to get through to a 12 year old who already has gang/drug ties.  That’s just the truth.  And the teacher’s pay will suffer because of this student’s presence in their class?

For some reason I see a future with an even smaller number of teachers with the desire to teach in low-income area schools.

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