Do Financial Incentives for Teachers Work?

Today’s Bristol Herald Courier has a pair of stories by Brian O’Connor on the national teacher certification program and local teachers who have attained the honor.

Certification is tough–“Each year, less than 30 percent of the first-try teachers earn certification. Just 40 percent pass before the three-year mark.” Tracey Dingus, one of the profiled teachers, “reckons she put more than 800 hours of work into the certification in the past year.”

To get the certificate, Dingus built a portfolio of her students’ work and videotaped herself in front of her class. Then, she took a written examination.

Finally, her portfolio and examination were evaluated by a board of nationally certified teachers.

Locally, teachers who attain certification get an $1875 stipend. The Virginia Department of Education pays a teacher who obtains certification $5000 in the first year and $2500 annually for the next nine years.

Does the extra compensation matter? Virginia has 905 certified teachers. Tennessee, with no extra financial compensation offered to certified teachers, has only 173.

Tip of the hat to Becky Dale for pointing out these stories.

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2 responses to “Do Financial Incentives for Teachers Work?”

  1. Financial incentives always have some effect, but what are we rewarding? The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the certifying agency, has some great rhetoric about certification:

    Recognition of National Board Certification will fundamentally change this equation. Suddenly, the selection of courses, the quality of instruction and the quality of a teacher’s effort in the pursuit of knowledge and expertise will matter. …

    Peers will seek out accomplished teachers noted for their expertise. Novice teachers will request constructive criticism…

    Administrators … will have a fresh perspective…

    Much of this is wishful thinking and speculation, and NBPTS’s school and teacher centered, a red flag.

    The SOLs have a lot of weaknesses, but they’re focussed on students’ achievements. Teachers, facilities, administration are not an end, they are the means to an end.

    Is there any evidence that this certification makes students learn better, faster or more;learn the same for less money or learn more for the same amount? What are we rewarding?

  2. Marcia Greenidge Avatar
    Marcia Greenidge

    I am not at all impressed with this agency nor do I feel that the process is fair.

    I have a problem with these so-called experts determining who’s qualified or non-qualified for this alleged honor…….

    Teachers are being judged by other non – NBPTS certified teachers…

    Therefore, my question is what made them so- called experts in their field?

    Some of these so-called experts become NBPST certified after they have served as paid experts to judge other teachers’ work. After judging and destroying some
    poor teacher hopes and finances ( for a non-profit agency the fees sure are high [approximately $2,000 for initial enrollment & each re-take for each approximately $300.00; Rescoring $400.00 ), these so-called wrote books and became NBPTS certified after their experiences as so-called evaluators of other teachers’ work…..

    What about their credentials? My gut instinct says that chances are that these so- called experts’ poses lower degrees than some of the potential NBPST candidates.
    Most reputable colleges have to answer to an academic board. Who governs this non- profit agency?

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