The meanings of merit

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The merit-pay bill pending in Springfield would require the School Reform Board and the Chicago Teachers Union to convert “step” and “lane” pay increases into merit pay tied to one or more of the following six areas of performance or professional advancement.

(1) Acquisition of specific subject knowledge or instructional skills that bear directly on a teacher’s performance in the classroom.

(2) Objectively measured increases in student achievement.

(3) Meeting specific teaching practice objectives that are “agreed to in advance in any given school year.”

(4) Completion of requirements— e.g. advanced certifications, skill acquisition, service to the school—for advancement on a career ladder, e.g. provisional teacher, career teacher, senior teacher.

(5) Work that promotes the broader needs of the school—e.g. curriculum development, family liaison, community outreach, professional development for the faculty, school management.

(6) Meeting annual performance goals.