Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told the largest teachers union Thursday that performance-based merit pay ought to be considered in public schools.
Teachers at the National Education Association’s annual convention have expressed concerns about merit pay, which is gaining favor with lawmakers, including those currently rewriting the No Child Left Behind law.
Teachers say they worry that linking their pay to their students’ test scores would be unfair to teachers who have students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers also say it isn’t fair to offer merit pay only to people who teach courses that are tested, like reading and math, but not to those who teach subjects like music or art.
Obama said teachers’ salaries should be increased across the board, but he also said there should be fair ways of measuring teacher performance and compensating teachers accordingly.