Here in Malaysia, the government will be giving annual cash incentives of between RM900 and RM7,500 to principals,headmasters and teachers of high performance schools from next year.
The incentives are for those pushing their schools to achieve the composite score target of 92 per cent for secondary schools and 82 per cent for primary schools.
The score is calculated based on a school’s grade point average and the national education quality standard.Principals and headmasters who achieve the target will get RM7,500.
DPM Muhyiddin Yassin who is also Education Minister said teachers of schools ranked in the top five per cent of the performance assessment would get RM1,800 while the other 95 per cent would get RM900.
Read more HERE.
In the US, certain quarters are saying that this is not such a good idea. An economist with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said:
"Policymakers should probably think twice before they transfer to education the pay system that has helped generate the global financial crisis."In Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability: What Education Should Learn from Other Sectors, researchers Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood and Richard Rothstein examine the evidence that underlies these assumptions, concluding that the use of merit pay systems has negative consequences that often block the larger goal of improving the quality of services.
I'm quoting the Huffington Post.
"Daniel Pink, author of the best selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has an great presentation on YouTube discussing what motivates skilled labor people to do excellent work and surprisingly, it isn't money.
The three reasons that people are motivated to do excellent work according to Pink are
- they are aligned with the purpose of the job
- they are given some autonomy on the job
- they are supported in gaining mastery of the job
Pink says, that "When the profit motive become unmoored from the purpose motive bad things happen -- like poor quality, shoddy work." We don't want teachers who are focused primarily on money and not on our kids.
Studies show that teachers are already purpose driven and while merit pay may temporarily improve performance over all it has no positive impact. Teachers need to be given more respect, more autonomy, better overall pay, supplies, and more classroom support to master their teaching skills. Merit pay doesn't work for the workplace and is a terrible idea for schools."
This subject is, of course, debatable. And this is based on the situation and conditions in the US. Having said that, the premise is the same. Teachers and students strive for the same things, no matter where we are.