Teachers Refuse Test-based Bonuses

K-12 Testing

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced in November that 50 schools had decided not to participate in a $100 million incentive pay plan passed by the Texas legislature. Under the plan, individual teachers would be eligible for bonuses of $3,000 to $10,000 based on results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).


A TEA spokeswoman said she was puzzled at the rejection, since teachers could have donated the bonus money to their schools if they thought it unfair for some teachers to be rewarded while their colleagues were not. But some teachers explained that it would not be worth the time and effort to apply for the grant money, fearing it would have a negative impact on the collegial spirit in which they work.


"We felt that doing all the things required for this program would take too much time," said Mary Vasquez, a second grade teacher. "We would rather dedicate all our time to teaching the kids and building relationships with them."


Teachers generally oppose the TAKS test, according to a recent survey. According to the Dallas Morning News, the report found that "More than three out of four teachers believe the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills does not accurately measure a student's academic level and is turning students into test takers rather than critical thinkers." Three in five teachers and parents believe "TAKS has reduced learning to how well a student can take a test."


- Dallas Morning News story at http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/