Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
(CNN) - A new law in Ohio links teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests. Traditionally, teachers are assessed through direct observation, and student outcomes in the classroom don't usually affect their pay. Ohio public school districts will now give each teacher a grade, and half of that grade will be based on students’ test scores. These grades, and thus the exam results, could lead to salary decisions, promotions and terminations.
Pay for performance isn’t new, but it certainly is controversial. Judging from readers’ responses to our story, there aren’t just two sides to this issue, but many.
Even commenters who identified themselves as educators have a variety of opinions:
(Note: Some comments have been edited for space or clarity.)
In the ISD where I work as a teacher in an inner city school (in a state where they say everything is bigger), similar policy will be implemented starting this 2012-2013. It's a year ahead than in Ohio. There are many variables which account for students' achievement aside from teachers – parents, administrators, politicians, and students themselves, to name a few. I do my job well and work hard but I am not a miracle worker. Let all the stakeholders be accountable for the sake of fairness.
I am a teacher and I agree with this new law! I am a teacher in one of the lowest states in the US. I teach at the lowest school in the state and every year I have scores that are some of the highest in the school, district, and the state. Great teachers should be compensated for their hard work. There is no excuse for such a high percent of minimal performing students. I don't care how awful my students' parents are. It's my job to work with what I have and ensure they learn too. Education and a few others is the only job where employees are not paid based on performance. Some of us work extra hard and should be paid accordingly. Those who don't or can't should find something else to do.
CNN education contributor Steve Perry on Ohio Gov. John Kasich's effort to base half of a teacher's pay on test scores. (from Starting Point)
by Ann O'Neill, CNN
(CNN) - Vicky Triponey knows all too well the power Penn State's late football coach, Joe Paterno, held for more than half a century over the insular slice of central Pennsylvania that calls itself Happy Valley.
She experienced firsthand the clubby, jock-snapping culture, the sense of entitlement, the cloistered existence. It's what drove her five years ago from her job as the vice president who oversaw student discipline.
She was told she was too aggressive, too confrontational, that she wasn't fitting in with "the Penn State way."
She clashed often with Paterno over who should discipline football players when they got into trouble. The conflict with such an iconic figure made her very unpopular around campus. For a while, it cost Triponey her peace of mind and her good name. It almost ended her 30-year academic career.
Another person might have felt vindicated, smug or self-righteous when former FBI Director Louis Freeh delivered the scathing report on his eight-month investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. But Triponey sensed only a deep sadness.FULL STORY