Mobridge-Pollock is smarter than Florida. The Florida Legislature has authorized spending $44 million to raise some teachers’ pay. The “Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarships” will go to teachers not for taking more classes but for receiving “highly effective” evaluation ratings and for having high SAT or ACT scores.
No, not their students’ SATs and ACTs; their own:
To qualify, a teacher must receive a “highly effective” evaluation rating and have scored at or above the 80th percentile on the SAT or ACT they took in high school. For new teachers, just the test score would count [Jeffrey S. Solochek, “Questions Abound for New Program That Rewards Teachers Based on SAT and ACT Scores,” Tampa Bay Times, 2015.06.27].
As a teacher who scored above the 80th percentile on the SAT and ACT, I would never use a teacher’s high school test scores as the basis for paying a teacher more money. Neither, apparently, would University of Iowa researchers Barry Wilson and Victoria Robinson:
This study examined five years of assessment data on over 1800 teaching candidates to determine the relationship of standardized test data and grade-point average (GPA) to end of program performance measures. Findings indicated negligible correlations between standardized tests and end of program performance measures. GPA measures were better predictors. Results indicate standardized tests do not relate to later success in teaching and are of questionable help in identifying low-performing candidates [Barry Wilson and Victoria Robinson, “Predicting Teacher Performance: Proceed with Caution,” Journal of Assessment and Accountability in Educator Preparation, Feb. 2012].
Florida has 175,609 K-12 teachers. If the state pays out full $10,000 scholarships, they can reward 1 out of 40 teachers. They’ll be doing so on a metric that has nothing to do with performance. And they are doing this plan even as they cut rewards for the work teachers do to improve their skills right now, like obtaining advanced degrees and national board certification.
South Dakota, Blue Ribbon K-12 panel, ignore this bad, backward-looking SAT/ACT plan from Florida. Focus instead on compensating all South Dakota teachers for the work that the state is currently getting for free.